Infectious diseases are illnesses caused by the spread of:
bacteria (for example, school sores)
viruses (for example, chickenpox)
fungi (for example, thrush)
parasites (for example, worms or malaria)
prions, the infectious agent responsible for some neurodegenerative diseases (for example, mad cow disease).
These can be spread to humans from:
the environment, including food and water.
Diseases described have been included because they occur commonly or because they cause particular concern in the community (the names used are those by which these conditions are commonly known). For infectious diseases not included here, see the Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, edited by David L. Heymann, 20th edition, 2015.
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