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Communicable Disease: Adult and Elderly

  • By: Tamas Fulop & Eric Frost
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

One of the most important health concerns is the spread of infectious diseases. An infectious disease is a clinically evident illness resulting from the presence of pathogenic microbial agents, including pathogenic viruses, pathogenic bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and multicellular parasites. Infectious pathologies are also called communicable diseases because of their potential of transmission from one person or species to another, either directly or via a vector (e.g., malaria which is transmitted from one person to another via a mosquito vector). During modern history, communicable diseases, although always present, have decreased in incidence and prevalence in developed countries. This situation is not the case in developing countries, where communicable diseases remain one of the most important public health concerns.

The reasons for the decrease of communicable diseases in ...

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