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Difference Between Contagious Disease and Infectious Disease

Contagious Disease vs Infectious Disease

In hospital settings, the health care people are trying to minimize nosocomial infections as much as possible. Nosocomial infections are hospital-acquired infections which can be due to non-strict adherence to hospital protocols regarding transmission based diseases such as pneumonia, TB, and a lot more. Once insurance companies got to know that a disease is caused via nosocomial infection, health care insurance companies will not take the full responsibility in paying for that person’s heath bill.

Two of the most commonly used words in classifying disease are contagious disease and infectious disease. Let us differentiate one word from the other.

Infectious disease is said to be the mother word of the terms such as contagious disease, communicable disease, and transmissible disease. Generally, infectious diseases are defined as the ability of a disease to enter a host, transmit the disease, and infect that person. An infectious disease can be sub-classified as contagious or non-contagious.

A contagious disease is the ability of the disease to be transmitted by physical contact, through skin-to-skin contact, or through body secretions in which that person did not perform handwashing. It can also be transmitted via airborne or droplets. Infectious diseases can be transmitted not only via physical contact but also through the inhalation of droplets, through the air surrounding the room, and through bodily fluids.

Contagious disease is often misused in the public, but the best way to understand a contagious disease is that it often requires isolation or quarantine. Usually, a private room in a hospital is used or a room with a negative laminar flow for TB or tuberculosis patients, for example. Contact precautions and standard precautions are also implemented to prevent transmission of microorganisms.

Infectious diseases, on the other hand, can encompass any disease, contagious or non-contagious. Infectious or contagious, the agents that can cause it are bacteria, virus, parasites, fungi, and other microorganisms that should not dwell inside a human’s body. Infectious diseases are managed by either isolation or non-isolation depending if it’s contagious or non-contagious.

Examples of famous contagious diseases are SARS, tuberculosis that is newly diagnosed, swine flu, AIDS, and hepatitis, among others. Examples of infectious diseases are pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, and a lot more.


1.Infectious disease is the mother term for contagious diseases which are a sub-classification.
2.Infectious disease encompasses diseases that can be transmitted via physical, airborne, droplets, or via bodily fluids while contagious diseases are mostly transmitted via physical, droplet, and bodily fluids.
3.Infectious diseases can be contagious or non-contagious so isolation depends on the disease while contagious diseases are solely quarantined and separated in a private room.

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1 Comment

  1. I teach public Health Education, HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management, Pandemic diseases and Human Rights Advocacy for Health care to University students in Diploma and Undergraduate studies.

    I will be very grateful if you help me with materials and up to date information of such health issues. God bless and I have been encouraged with reading your materials. Thank you

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