A communicable disease is an illness that can be contracted through contact with a human or animal, their discharges, or contaminated items carrying an infectious agent. An infectious agent is a disease causing organism, such as a bacteria, virus or parasite. Once a person has contracted a communicable disease they can then pass it on to others.
Environmental Health Officers at Northern Health routinely monitor illnesses that are transmitted from person to person or through food, water, animals, and insects. Many of these illnesses may be communicable, and thus be carried and transmitted by an infected person. Therefore, the prevention of these illnesses from being spread in a family or community is important because some of the illnesses can lead to serious illness and even death.
The most effective methods for preventing the spread of communicable disease are frequent hand washing and staying home when you are sick.