Communicable Disease vs. Non-Communicable Disease: What's the Difference?
Communicable diseases spread between people, while non-communicable diseases do not.
Communicable diseases are caused by infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites and can be spread directly or indirectly between individuals. Non-communicable diseases, also known as chronic diseases, are not infectious and cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
While communicable diseases often present with acute symptoms and can lead to epidemics, non-communicable diseases typically develop slowly and last for extended periods, often leading to long-term health impacts.
Prevention of communicable diseases often involves hygiene, vaccinations, and avoiding contact with infected individuals. In contrast, preventing non-communicable diseases generally focuses on lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol.
Treatment for communicable diseases usually includes medications such as antibiotics or antivirals to target the infectious agent. Non-communicable diseases often require long-term management, including medication, lifestyle changes, and sometimes surgery.
Public health measures for controlling communicable diseases include quarantine and sanitation efforts. For non-communicable diseases, public health focuses on education, health screenings, and policies to promote healthy environments.
Bacteria, viruses, parasites.
Not caused by infectious agents.
Direct or indirect between people.
Cannot be transmitted between people.
Symptoms and Course
Often acute; can lead to epidemics.
Usually chronic; long-term health impacts.
Hygiene, vaccinations, avoiding infected individuals.
Lifestyle changes, health education.
Targeting infectious agent with medications.
Long-term management, lifestyle changes, medication.
Communicable Disease and Non-Communicable Disease Definitions
Spread by infectious agents.
The flu is a common communicable disease.
Often related to genetics.
Hypertension can be a hereditary non-communicable disease.
Transmitted between people.
Measles is a highly communicable disease.
Chronic and not infectious.
Diabetes is a widespread non-communicable disease.
Often requires quarantine.
During the outbreak, patients with the communicable disease were quarantined.
Managed with lifestyle changes.
Heart disease, a non-communicable disease, can be managed with diet and exercise.
Can cause epidemics.
HIV/AIDS is a globally significant communicable disease.
Not spread person-to-person.
Asthma, a non-communicable disease, cannot be caught from others.
Includes bacterial infections.
Tuberculosis is a serious communicable disease.
Includes lifestyle diseases.
Obesity is a common non-communicable disease.
Are non-communicable diseases contagious?
No, they cannot be transmitted between people.
Can vaccines prevent communicable diseases?
Yes, many are preventable by vaccines.
Can non-communicable diseases be inherited?
Yes, some have genetic factors.
Do non-communicable diseases require lifelong management?
Often, they require ongoing care.
Do lifestyle choices affect non-communicable diseases?
Yes, factors like diet and exercise are important.
Do communicable diseases always show immediate symptoms?
Not always; some have incubation periods.
Are all non-communicable diseases genetic?
Not all; lifestyle and environment also play roles.
Can good hygiene prevent communicable diseases?
Yes, it's a key preventive measure.
Can communicable diseases lead to epidemics?
Yes, some have the potential to cause outbreaks.
Are non-communicable diseases always chronic?
Mostly, but severity and course can vary.
Can exercise reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases?
Yes, it's beneficial for prevention and management.
What causes communicable diseases?
Infectious agents like viruses and bacteria.
How are communicable diseases spread?
Through direct or indirect contact.
Does smoking increase the risk of non-communicable diseases?
Yes, it's a major risk factor for many.
Are heart diseases non-communicable?
Yes, they are not infectious.
Are antibiotics effective against communicable diseases?
Yes, but only for bacterial infections.
Is isolation effective in controlling communicable diseases?
Yes, it can help prevent spread.
Is handwashing effective against communicable diseases?
Yes, it's a simple yet effective prevention.
Is cancer a non-communicable disease?
Yes, it's not caused by infectious agents.
Can communicable diseases be asymptomatic?
Yes, some people may not show symptoms.
Written bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.