Communicable diseases are those disease which spread from one person to another, through the wind, water or direct or indirect mode and are highly infectious. In contrary Non-communicable diseases are those, which are not spread and are non-contagious, but are caused due to allergy, long illness, abnormalities in cell proliferation, inherited, malnutrition.

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Examples of communicable disease are cold, flu, typhoid, AIDS, dysentery whereas cancer, allergies, diabetes, strokes are the examples of Non-communicable disease. An unhealthy condition of the body or mind is called Disease which affects the functions of tissue, organs, and entire body. While Infection is defined as invasion of pathogens, harming the body and its cells.

Although there are numerous diseases which owned their own characteristics cause, where some are easily detectable, while some are detected in the later stage of life. Yet the line between Communicable and Non-communicable disease is blurred where certain chronic disease causative agent was found due to the infection of virus which was previously thought to be unrelated with the same.

Though research is still going to find out the whether any Non-communicable disease can be said as infectious or not. Given below are the general points which differentiate between the two categories.

Content: Communicable Vs Non-Communicable Diseases

Comparison Chart

Basis for ComparisonCommunicable diseaseNon-communicable disease
Meaning The disease spread from person to another, they are "catching" disease and can be spread through the air, water, etc.The disease which does not spread from one person to another through any mode.
Cause Caused by pathogens and considered as highly infectious and vectors play the major role in spreading disease from one person to another.Caused due to allergy, illness, malnutrition or abnormalities in cell proliferation, changes in lifestyle, environment play a significant role.
Infecting agentBacteria and virus.No infectious agent.
ExampleTuberculosis, AIDS, Typhoid, Cholera, Malaria.Cancer, Rickets, Allergies, Kwashiorkor, Diabetes, Heart disease, etc.
InheritanceThis disease cannot be inherited from one generation to another.This disease can be inherited.
TreatmentTreated by conventional methods.Treated conservatively or surgically.
TypeAcute (develops quickly). Chronic (develops slowly and last for long-period).
Precautions1.Wear mask wherever needed.2.Wash your hands every time.3.Avoid sharing one"s belongings.4.Stay away from the person who is infected with any disease.1.Should go for regular body checkup.2.Maintain proper diet.3.By doing exercise daily.4.Take proper sleep and rest.

Definition of Communicable Disease

Communicable disease is contagious, where the transfer of disease take place from one person to another, from animal to person either directly or indirectly. Direct contact includes transmission from infected blood, feces or other body fluids whereas Indirect contact transmission includes the air, water, food, insects. These diseases are referred as acute as they develop quickly.

Symptoms of the Communicable disease may vary with the kind of infection caught, some of the most common symptoms of infectious diseases are diarrhea, vomiting, malaria, dysentery, muscles ache, headache, flu, rabies, running nose, itching, fever, cough.

Sexually transmitted disease includes ulcers in the genital areas, smelly, greenish or grayish discharge, lesions located in sexual organs and other parts of the body when the infection has already spread.


Common disease and their causing agents are Bacteria, Viruses, Protozoa, and Fungi.

Bacteria: This is single celled organisms, larger than viruses, it causes whooping cough, gonorrhea, tuberculosis.Viruses: This is the smallest organism responsible for causing measles, hepatitis, AIDS.Protozoa: These are also single cell organisms causes malaria, dysentery.Fungi: responsible for causing ringworm, athlete’s foot.

Definition of Non-Communicable disease

Non-Communicable diseases are those diseases which are not spread from person to person, hence they are non-contagious, rather they are caused by changes in lifestyle, eating habits, environment changes, allergy, malnutrition, long-term illness, side effects of medicines, or may be heredity. Communicable diseases are referred to as chronic which means these diseases are for long-period and progress slowly.

Examples are diabetes, strokes, allergy, obesity, excessive hunger, thirst, blurred vision, frequent urination, hypertension, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer.

This disease can be prevented by maintaining the proper diet, doing exercise according to the age, visiting doctors for the regular body check up and importantly by not ignoring the single symptom or sign in the body indicating illness. The non-communicable disease can be treated by conservative methods or surgically, depending on the kind of disease.

Key Differences Between Communicable and Non-Communicable Disease

The following point will help in finding out the major differences between the Communicable and non-communicable disease:

Communicable disease is referred as the acute disease, which means they progress quickly. They are contagious and most infected kind of disease, where transmission can be directly or indirectly from one person to another, or from animal to person through the air, water, food, insects, blood transmission, physical contact with the infected person, etc. While the Noncommunicable disease is referred as a chronic disease which progresses slowly and remains for a long duration in the body, they are non-contagious and caused due to long term illness, changed lifestyle, environmental factors, or can be hereditary.An example of Communicable disease are Diarrhea, dysentery, flu, rabies, malaria, tuberculosis, cold, fever, cough, vomiting; Hypertension, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, muscles pain are the examples of Non-communicable disease.Causative agents are bacteria, virus and parasites in Communicable disease but Non-communicable disease occurs due to change lifestyle, environment factors, uncontrolled diet, alcohol use, genetic factors, etc.Wear your face mask wherever necessary, washing hands properly, avoid coming in contact with the infected person are the precautions everyone should follow to avoid catching a disease, along with that maintaining regular and healthy diet, doing regular exercise, and taking proper rest, regularly visiting doctors for the body check up will help in sustaining life smoothly without having any kind Non-communicable disease.Treatment of Communicable is done through conventional methods while treatment of Non-communicable is done either through conservative methods or surgically in critical conditions.


The above distinction between Communicable and Non-communicable disease doesn’t mean that one is dangerous and other is not, rather distinction was just to provide basics differences between the both which can be helpful in knowing them better.

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According to WHO (World Health Organization), 60 percent of deaths worldwide are due to Non-Communicable disease only. Also, it is found that Communicable disease is more widely spread in underdeveloped countries than developed countries.