Infectious diseases

Infectious diseases are illnesses caused by the spread of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites) or prions to humans from other humans, animals or the environment, including food and water.

Ways infectious diseases spread

Find out how infectious diseases can be spread, including links to information on how to avoid spread on the Ways infectious diseases spread page.

To minimise the risk of spread of infection, all blood and body substances should be treated as potentially infectious.

Find standard precaution techniques used in handling these substances on the Handling blood and other body substances page.

Exclusion from childcare, preschool, school and work

The spread of certain infectious diseases can be reduced by excluding a person, known to be infectious, from contact with others who are at risk of catching the infection.

Find the recommended minimum periods of exclusion from school, preschool and childcare centres for cases of, and contact with, infectious diseases on the Exclusion from childcare, preschool, school and work page.

You’ve Got What?

For more information about individual infectious diseases, see the health topics in this section or visit the You’ve Got What - disease topics for information on:

  • fact sheets on over 90 illnesses and conditions
  • prevention and control of notifiable and other infectious diseases in children and adults

In languages other than English

Infectious disease fact sheets in languages other than English may be found at the links below.

Please be aware that people who are not proficient in English may need assistance to find translations in their preferred language.


The views contained in these websites are not necessarily those of the South Australian Minister for Health and Wellbeing or the South Australian Department for Health and Wellbeing.

No responsibility is accepted by the Minister for Health and Wellbeing or the Department for Health and Wellbeing for any errors or omissions contained within these websites.

Readers should always seek independent, professional advice when appropriate, and no liability will be accepted for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information in these websites.

Please be aware that some of these fact sheets may not be up-to-date.

Other useful sites

State Government of Victoria, Department of Health

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