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Top Communicable Diseases in India

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 03/06/2022

Infectious diseases in India are a major cause of concern due to a wide variety of factors such as poor sanitation and hygiene, lack of access to clean drinking water, incomplete nutrition, and so on. However, not just in India, transmissible diseases are a cause of concern globally as well. As many as 1.2 billion people across the world are highly prone to developing common infectious diseases. Additionally, lack of access and affordability of quality healthcare can further worsen the situation.

As a result, in India, health insurance is considered a primary requirement for each family. From comprehensive medical insurance plans from private insurance companies to affordable health covers from the government, Indians have a wide choice of health insurance plans, irrespective of the budget.

In this article, we will look at the top communicable diseases in India and the importance and benefits of health insurance in a developing country like India.

What are Communicable Diseases?

Diseases that spread/transmit from one person to another through contact with infected blood and bodily fluids, inhalation of the airborne virus, animal/insect bites, direct physical contact with the infected individual and so on are called communicable or transmissible diseases.

The severity of the infection varies from person to person, and some infected individuals might even be asymptomatic.

Let us look at some of the common communicable diseases in India.

Types of Communicable Diseases in India

  • Covid-19: The novel coronavirus, caused by the Sars-COV-2 virus, has caused havoc across the globe. A highly transmissible disease that spreads through infected droplets in the air, Covid-19 causes mild to severe respiratory distress, with fever, cold, cough, nausea, body pain and weakness.

India is one of the worst affected countries in the world, with crores of people infected and lakhs dead. However, the lockdowns, social distancing and mask protocols, development of the vaccine and massive vaccination drive managed to bring the spread of Covid-19 under control.

However, in case of comorbidities and older age, people who get infected with the virus need to be hospitalised. The Covid-19 treatment and hospitalisation costs can be very high. Therefore, it is advisable to buy a medical insurance plan with Covid-19 coverage to take care of these expenses.

  • Tuberculosis : An airborne transmissible disease, Tuberculosis or TB is a common infectious disease in India that affects the throat (laryngeal TB) or lungs (pulmonary TB). Infected droplets caused by an infected person sneezing, coughing, talking or even laughing can spread the virus.

If caught in time, Tuberculosis is a treatable disease, and the cost of treatment will be minimal under the Government of India’s DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course) programme. However, the treatment extends for months, sometimes more than a year, which can affect the finances of a family if the infected person is the sole breadwinner.

  • Typhoid : Typhoid, also known as Enteric fever, is a bacterial infection that spreads through the Salmonella Typhi bacteria. A highly transmissible disease, typhoid spreads across the infected person’s body and infects all the critical organs. It is generally caused due to ingestion of contaminated water or food as well as contact with the infected person.

Typhoid can get very serious, even fatal, if left untreated. Therefore, it is imperative to get timely and quality treatment in case of a typhoid diagnosis.

  • Malaria : Malaria is caused when a mosquito infected with the plasmodium parasite bites a healthy person. It is one of the most deadly and common communicable diseases in developing countries across the world, including India. Generally, children below the age of five are highly at risk of developing this transmissible disease.

Common symptoms of malaria include severe chills and a high fever, both of which are easily treatable with doctor-prescribed drugs and treatment courses. However, certain severe cases might require hospitalisation.

  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) : HIV is a sexually transmitted virus and is one of the most easily spread and powerful viruses in the world. Apart from sexual transmission, this common communicable disease can also spread through infected blood transfusion, from infected mother to child during pregnancy or breastfeeding, via infected injections/razors, etc.

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus infects and starts weakening the immune system of the infected person by destroying their CD4 cells. Anti-Retroviral Therapy or ART is the commonly used treatment for HIV. However, this treatment is costly and having health insurance for HIV can be a great financial support for the infected and their family.

  • Hepatitis : Hepatitis A, B, C and D are common communicable diseases in India that spread through the transfusion of infected blood. Hepatitis can be a chronic or acute condition which causes inflammation of the liver, with primary symptoms including abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, fever, dark urine, weakness, fatigue and joint pain.

The symptoms of Hepatitis can be mild to severe, depending on the nature and extent of the inflammation. If caught on time, this transmissible disease can be treated with an expensive Anti-Viral Therapy. Therefore, it is advisable to have a comprehensive medical insurance plan to take care of such expenses.

Benefits of Health Insurance for Communicable Diseases in India

We saw the communicable disease list above, and the nature and severity of infection under each, along with the cost of treatment, truly highlight the benefits of health insurance.

A comprehensive medical insurance plan takes care of major treatment costs of infectious diseases in India, such as the hospitalization cost, room rent, daycare expenses, ambulance costs, pre and post hospitalization costs, etc. Additionally, if you get treated at a network hospital, the treatment will be cashless and the insurance company will directly pay the hospital.

However, make sure you check the extent and nature of coverage before buying the policy. For example, check the policy details, inclusion, exclusions, coverage for communicable diseases, room rent limit, etc.

Additionally, check the waiting period for each of these transmissible diseases. Insurers lay down a waiting period for such common infectious diseases, which can range from 15 days to a few months.

Compare medical insurance plans before finalizing one. It is advantageous to buy health insurance online as you can use online health insurance calculator to compare and buy the right health insurance for you and your family.


India has a long communicable diseases list, with most of them causing severe infections that need hospitalisation and extended treatment. A medical insurance plan will take care of these expenses and allow you to avail of the best treatment.

Just make sure to compare and check the benefits of health insurance plans before you buy one.

Tata AIG offers three attractive plan variants under its Medicare range of plans. With a comprehensive cover and seamless claim filing, you can rest assured about major medical expenses. For detailed information about our medical insurance plans, contact our insurance experts today.

Disclaimer / TnC

Your policy is subjected to terms and conditions & inclusions and exclusions mentioned in your policy wording. Please go through the documents carefully.

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