Communicable Diseases Law and Legal Definition

A communicable disease is an illness carried by microorganisms and transferred through people, animals, surfaces, foods, or air. Communicable disease may be transmitted with direct or indirect contact with infected persons or their excretions. Such diseases depend on fluid exchange, contaminated materials/surfaces, or proximal contact to travel from an infected carrier to a healthy person. herpes, malaria, mumps, HIV/AIDS, influenza, chicken pox, ringworm, and whooping cough are examples of communicable diseases.Some communicable disease such as AIDS/HIV, syphilis and gonorrhea are usually contracted via sexual contact.

Governmental agencies spend time and money studying the risk or spread of various contagious diseases. They also run programs to combat such communicable diseases. PEPFAR is an example of a program initialed to combat AIDS/HIV.

The following is an example of a state statute (Texas) defining the term.

Pursuant to Tex. Health & Safety Code § 81.003(1), the term "Communicable disease" means an illness that occurs through the transmission of an infectious agent or its toxic products from a reservoir to a susceptible host, either directly, as from an infected person or animal, or indirectly through an intermediate plant or animal host, a vector, or the inanimate environment.