Communicable diseases are infectious diseases that can be passed from one person to another. These diseases can be found in the form of bacteria, fungi, viruses and more. Transmission of these diseases occur in a variety of ways, including direct physical contact, consuming contaminated foods or beverages, contact with contaminated body fluids, contact with contaminated inanimate objects, airborne (inhalation), or being bitten by an infected animal, insect, or tick.

COVID-19 is a communicable disease that can be passed from person to person through droplets from someone coughing or sneezing. COVID-19 is a variant of coronaviruses. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses and one other variant of this family of viruses is the common cold.

Regardless of the different family of viruses around us, COVID-19 taught us one important thing, prevention is important. The main way to prevent and stop the spread of communicable diseases is through hygienic practices. When we practice good hygiene, we take care of ourselves and the people around us.

This past year, we washed hands, avoided touching our faces and mouths, used more hand sanitizer, cleaned our space more often, stayed home if we were sick, wore masks, stayed 6 ft apart and got our flu shots. As a result of these healthy behaviors, the number of flu cases and other ailments were less than prior years.

According to the Center for Disease Control, it was found that in the most recent flu season, that ended April 2021, there were 2,038 reported flu cases. During the 2019- 2020 flu season, there were about 38 million flu cases. A significant drop! This drop in cases could have been the result of many things from quarantining to practicing good hygiene and getting the flu shot. The important thing is that we continue to act aggressively to protect ourselves and our loved ones from getting a communicable disease.

Now that the colder months are upon us, we need to be proactive again and practice good hygiene and prevent spreading of germs, bacteria, viruses and more!  Follow theses simple tips below to continue to combat communicable diseases:

  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid sharing personal items
  • Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a face mask, when applicable
  • Handle and prepare food safely
  • Clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces
  • Travel safe
  • Avoid touching wild animals
  • Stay home when you are sick