difference between infectious and non infectious disease

The Difference Between Infectious and Non-Infectious Diseases

As humans, we are prone to getting sick from various diseases. Diseases can be classified as either infectious or non-infectious. Understanding the difference between these types of diseases is crucial in preventing, treating, and managing them. In this article, we will explore the differences between infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. These microorganisms can enter the body through various means like ingestion, inhalation, and direct contact with infected people, animals, or environmental surfaces. The way in which an individual is exposed to the pathogen can also determine how severe the illness is. Examples of infectious diseases include COVID-19, measles, chickenpox, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections, and pneumonia.

The course of infectious diseases can vary from mild cases that resolve quickly to severe cases that can be life-threatening. The severity of an infectious disease can depend on several factors such as the virulence of the microorganism, the route of entry, the individual’s immune system response, and the effectiveness of the treatment.

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Non-Infectious Diseases

Non-infectious diseases, also known as chronic diseases, are not caused by microorganisms but are a result of how the body functions. They typically develop over time and can be hereditary, lifestyle-related, or environmental. Some common examples of non-infectious diseases are diabetes, cancer, stroke, heart disease, and hypertension.

Non-infectious diseases are usually not contagious and cannot be transmitted from person to person like infectious diseases. However, some non-infectious diseases like cancer can be caused by viruses, radiation, exposure to hazardous chemicals, and lifestyle factors such as smoking and poor diet.


Infectious and non-infectious diseases differ in their causes, modes of transmission, severity, and treatment. Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms and can be transmitted from person to person through contact or exposure. Non-infectious diseases are caused by various factors like environmental, lifestyle, and hereditary factors.

It is crucial to understand the differences between infectious and non-infectious diseases to prevent, manage, and treat them effectively. Practicing good hygiene, getting vaccinated, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and seeking early medical attention can prevent and manage both infectious and non-infectious diseases.

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Table difference between infectious and non infectious disease

Category Infectious Disease Non-Infectious Disease
Definition An illness caused by the invasion of a pathogen (virus, bacteria, fungi or parasites) into the body An illness caused by internal factors such as genetics, lifestyle, environment, and aging
Transmission Can be spread from person to person, or via insects or animals Cannot be spread from person to person, and not caused by external factors
Symptoms Can cause flu-like symptoms, fever, fatigue, and other systemic effects Varies depending on the type of disease, but often affect specific organs or body systems
Treatment Antibiotics or antivirals are often prescribed, depending on the type of infection Treatment often involves lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery
Prevention Vaccines, proper hygiene, and avoiding risky behaviors can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases Healthy lifestyle choices and avoiding exposure to harmful substances can help prevent non-infectious diseases