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Difference Between Communicable And Non-Communicable Diseases

Difference Between Communicable And Non-Communicable Diseases

Understanding the differences between communicable and non-communicable diseases is crucial for their optimal treatment. In contrast to non-communicable illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, communicable illnesses like the flu and tuberculosis transmit from person to person. The varying traits, risk factors, and prevention methods for these two different kinds of diseases are important to explore.

Table of Contents

  • Communicable diseases
  • Non-Communicable Diseases
  • Communicable Diseases vs Non-Communicable Diseases
  • Practice Problems On Communicable And Non-Communicable Diseases
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Communicable Diseases

Infections that can spread from one person to another or from animals to humans are referred to as communicable diseases, sometimes known as infectious or contagious diseases. Pathogenic microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites are responsible for these diseases. 


  • Measles
  • Malaria
  • COVID-19
  • TB
  • Influenza
  • Tuberculosis

Direct touch, respiratory droplets, contaminated food or drink, vectors like mosquitoes, or sexual contact are just a few of the ways they might spread. Limiting the spread of communicable diseases and safeguarding the public's health requires effective preventative and control measures, such as vaccinations, good hygiene habits, and immediate medical attention.

Non-Communicable Diseases

Chronic illnesses that are not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another are referred to as non-communicable diseases (NCDs). These illnesses frequently grow slowly over an extended period of time. 


  • Cardiovascular diseases (including heart disease and stroke)
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic respiratory diseases
  • Mental health issues 

Genetics, lifestyle decisions (such as poor diet, inactivity, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol use), environmental variables, and underlying physiological or metabolic abnormalities are the main causes of NCDs. Non-communicable disease prevention and management emphasise healthy behaviour promotion, routine screening and early detection, medication management, and lifestyle changes to lower risk factors and enhance overall health outcomes.

Communicable Diseases Vs Non-Communicable Diseases


Communicable Diseases

Non-Communicable Diseases


It can be transmitted from person to person or from animals to humans

Not contagious and cannot be transmitted between individuals

Causative Agents

Pathogenic microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites)

Genetic factors, lifestyle choices, environmental factors, underlying conditions


Influenza, tuberculosis, measles, HIV/AIDS, malaria, COVID-19

Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, mental health disorders

Transmission Modes

Direct contact, respiratory droplets, contaminated food or water, vectors, sexual contact

Not applicable as they are not transmitted between individuals

Prevention and Control

Vaccinations, hygiene practices, isolation measures, treatment of infected individuals

Lifestyle modifications, regular screenings, medication management, risk factor reduction

Global Burden of Disease

Major contributors to global morbidity and mortality

A leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for the majority of deaths

Public Health Importance

Emphasis on outbreak control, public health surveillance, and containment measures

Focus on prevention, health promotion, early detection, and management.

Practice Problems On Communicable And Non-Communicable Diseases

Q1. Which disease is communicable?

A. Asthma
B. Tuberculosis
C. Diabetes
D. Hypertension

Ans: B. Tuberculosis.

Tuberculosis is a communicable illness that is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and mainly impacts the respiratory system.

Q2. Which of the following is a non-communicable disease?

A. Hepatitis B
B. Malaria
C. Influenza
D. Diabetes

Ans: D. Diabetes

Diabetes is a type of disease that is non-communicable and is caused by high blood sugar levels. This happens when the body cannot effectively produce or use insulin.

Q3. Identify the disease that is spread by mosquito bites among these options?

A. Typhoid
B. Dengue fever
C. Cholera
D. Parkinson's disease

Ans: B. Dengue fever

Dengue fever is a communicable disease that spreads through Aedes mosquitoes. It is identified by symptoms such as fever, headache, joint pain, and rash.

Q4. Which disease is caused by a virus?

A. Cholera
B. Asthma
C. Hypertension
D. Hepatitis C

Ans: C) Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a communicable disease that is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It mostly impacts the liver and can result in long-term liver disease.

Q5. Which of the following diseases has a connection to the heart and is non-communicable?

A. Rheumatoid arthritis
B. Pneumonia
C. Meningitis
D. Congestive heart failure

Ans: D. Congestive heart failure

A non-communicable disease called congestive heart failure is described by the heart's inability to pump blood effectively, causing fluid to accumulate in the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What are the types of communicable diseases?
Answer :
Respiratory infections, sexually transmitted infections, gastrointestinal infections, vector-borne diseases, and bloodborne diseases are some examples of communicable diseases.

Q2. How serious are communicable diseases?
Answer : 
Depending on the particular disease and individual conditions, communicable diseases can range in severity from mild to severe, and some can even be fatal.

Q3. Which is the most common communicable disease?
Answer : 
The common cold, caused by several viruses, is the most widespread contagious illness worldwide. Respiratory illnesses like influenza come next.

Q4. Which is the most prevalent non-communicable disease?
Answer : 
The most common non-communicable diseases worldwide are cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke. These conditions place a heavy load on morbidity and mortality.

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