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Communicable Diseases

Communicable diseases spread from one person to another or from an animal to a person. The spread often happens via airborne viruses or bacteria, but also through blood or other bodily fluid. The terms infectious and contagious are also used to describe communicable disease. In this section, learn about coordinated efforts to combat a few of the most serious communicable diseases on a global level.


Viral hepatitis causes 78% of liver cancers and the hepatitis B virus alone infects an estimated one in three people worldwide. The public health concern of viral hepatitis is growing as the viruses are easily transmitted from person to person.


The most successful programs to fight AIDS have been efforts to make available antiretroviral drugs that allow people with HIV to live for many years before developing symptoms of AIDS


Because influenza affects so many people around the globe every year, extensive international coordination is required in the areas of influenza surveillance, detection, and response


The focus areas involved in combating malaria include public health information, science and research, prevention and control, case management, and regulating diagnostic tests and vaccines


Polio tends to infect children under five causing lifelong crippling conditions, but two vaccines promise the possibility of eradication


The U.S. government and many other governments and organization around the world are engaged to help people infected with tuberculosis and to stop its sprea