Disease Classification



  • Infectious: A disease spread by pathogenic micro-organisms (e.g. parasites, bacteria, viruses, fungi)
  • Non-Infectious: A disease which can't spread. Caused by age, genetics, environmental conditions or poor nutrition.
  • Communicable: An infectious disease which spreads from host to host.
  • Non-Communicable (aka Chronic Diseases): A disease which is not passed from person to person.
  • Contagious: A disease spread by contact or indirect contact between people (e.g. Ebola)
  • Non-Contagious: An infectious disease that can't be spread between people (e.g. Malaria)
  • Epidemic: A disease outbreak that spreads quickly through the population of a geographical area
  • Endemic: A disease which exists permanently in a geographical area or human group
  • Pandemic: An epidemic which spreads worldwide (e.g. Spanish Flu)
  • Zoonotic: Infectious diseases which are transmitted from animals to humans (e.g. Swine Flu)
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Infectious/Contagious Diseases

Infectious and Contagious

  • HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis, Flu, Ebola, Cholera, Smallpox

Infectious and Non-Contagious

  • Malaria, Yellow Fever, West Nile Fever

Non-Infectious and Contagious


Non-Infectious and Non-Contagious

  • Diabetes, Cancers, Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
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Non-Communicable Diseases

4 Types of Non-Communicable Diseases:

  • Cardiovascular Diseases (e.g. heart attacks, stroke)
  • Cancers
  • Chronic Respiratory Diseases (e.g. asthma, chronic onstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Diabetes
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