Difference Between Communicable Disease and a Non-communicable Disease

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 05/02/2024

India is the second most populous country in the world. As much as it has progressed, many diseases still engulf the country. As per statistics, 60.9% of women and 46.7% of men in 2021 were unhealthy.

Unhealthy lifestyles, poor eating habits, and the environment are among the causes of many diseases spreading across the country. While some diseases spread from one person to another, some are chronic.

Let us understand the difference between communicable and non-communicable diseases in this article.

What is a Communicable Disease?

Communicable diseases are those which can spread from one person to another through direct or indirect contact. Direct transmission of communicable diseases takes place via blood, faeces, saliva, and other fluids of the body. Indirectly, such diseases spread through air, water, food, and insects.

Communicable diseases are also known as acute, as their symptoms develop quickly. Once the agents of such diseases enter the body, the immune system tries to destroy them. However, when the organism escapes the immune system, the disease appears.

Communicable diseases are known to occur during a specific period or time of the year. For instance, malaria spreads during the breeding season of the female mosquitoes. Let us see the top 10 communicable diseases:

Top 10 communicable disease

  • Measles

  • Influenza

  • HIV

  • Hepatitis A, B, C

  • Tuberculosis

  • Dengue

  • AIDS

  • Coronavirus infection

  • Malaria

  • Chickenpox

Though communicable diseases spread from one person to another, taking appropriate precautions can help to prevent them from spreading.

** Ways to Prevent Communicable Diseases**

  • The best way to prevent communicable diseases is to wash your hands frequently. Washing your hands removes a lot of viruses and keeps you safe.

  • Avoid going to public places when you are not well. Since communicable diseases can spread through fluid or atmosphere, staying indoors is a great way to prevent the diseases from spreading to others.

  • Cover the nose and mouth while sneezing and coughing with tissue. Alternatively, you can sneeze in the elbow or upper sleeves but not the hands.

  • If you are unwell, avoid sharing personal belongings like towels, razors, etc, as they cannot be disinfected.

  • When preparing food, take utmost care to wash the hands, utensils, and surfaces thoroughly.

  • Get yourself vaccinated against diseases like coronavirus, flu, and so on.

  • Indulge in safe sex practice by using condoms to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

What is a Non-Communicable Disease?

Non-communicable diseases are not contagious, meaning they do not spread from one person to another through any medium. Causes of non-communicable diseases include many factors like poor lifestyle, bad eating habits, environmental factors, heredity, and so on.

Non-communicable diseases are also called chronic because they slowly develop over time. They are long-term in nature and can be caused by a lack of nutrients in the body, consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and other factors.

Non-communicable diseases affect people of all ages, groups, and regions. Most of the time, these diseases are associated with higher age groups, but according to evidence, 17 million non-communicable disease-related deaths happen before the age of 70 years.

Top 10 Non-Communicable Diseases

  • Heart disease

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Cancer

  • Arthritis

  • Asthma

  • Kidney failure

  • Obesity

  • Allergy

  • Strokes

Ways to Prevent Non-Communicable Diseases

  • Several underlying factors cause non-communicable or chronic diseases. By following some useful measures, one can prevent these diseases and detect them early on.

  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet

  • Get regular health check-ups done

  • Include physical activity in your daily routine and do exercises regularly

  • Educate yourself about the ill effects of foods and habits that cause chronic illnesses

Difference Between Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases

Basis of Comparison Communicable Disease Non-Communicable Disease
Meaning  Disease which spreads from one person to another through blood, saliva, water, air, etc. Diseases that do not spread among people
Nature Contagious Non-contagious
Agent Bacteria and virus None
Type Develops quickly and spreads Develops slowly and lasts for many years
Prevention Possible by wearing masks, washing hands, staying indoors when sick, etc.  Possible by eating healthy food, adopting a healthy lifestyle, etc.

Importance of Having a Health Insurance

Diseases can enter your life uninvited and turn your health upside down. To safeguard oneself against all types of diseases, it is highly advisable to follow preventive measures and invest in individual health insurance.

You must opt for a health insurance plan that provides maximum coverage and assistance in case of all kinds of diseases. You can rely on Tata AIG for a beneficial medical insurance plan, especially if you have a family history of chronic diseases.

It is very convenient to buy health insurance online to match your health and financial requirements. Whether it is for yourself, older dependents, or children, health insurance is the best way to secure health.


Communicable and non-communicable diseases can affect anyone without any prior warning. Communicable diseases spread rapidly, while non-communicable ones develop over a longer period and do not spread from one person to another.

By following the preventive measures mentioned and insure the health of yourself and your loved ones you can safeguard against all illnesses.

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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