Infectious Diseases

Bird flu, malaria, plague and West Nile virus are infectious diseases we've all heard of. Find information on these epidemics and more in this section.


You may not know how to pull on personal protection equipment like a health care pro, but we bet you've learned a lot about Ebola and its transmission since it hit the news. Or have you?

Leprosy was the AIDS of the first millennium – a disfiguring disease that struck terror since people thought it was easy to contract. Patients were banished to live in colonies. What was life like there?

Pneumonia and diarrhea used to be bigger killers, but nowadays, developed countries can successfully treat them. Which other diseases are no longer death sentences?

No one thinks public toilets are altars of tidiness, but are they actually dangerous? The odds of catching something from a public bathroom are low -- but it's possible.

If you've seen the movie "Outbreak," you may think you know Ebola. You don't. For one, you don't necessarily die from this hemorrhagic fever. For another, people infected with it don't always wind up bleeding out of their various orifices.

Parasites are common, and many are harmless. But we're willing to bet that you'd go to almost any length to avoid spending time with the five on this list.

Cold sores are painful blisters that appear on or around the lips. Learn what causes cold sores in this article.

There are several SARS conspiracy theories, including the act of biological warfare by the United States. Learn more about the SARS conspiracy theory from this article.

In general, people are at their most contagious approximately three days after having been exposed to a virus. You can learn more about how a virus behaves in the body from this article.

Flu season in North America usually begins in November and runs until March. Learn more about how the flu spreads from this article.

Researchers developed a safe and effective SARS vaccine. Learn more about SARS vaccine from this article.

SARS originated in the Guangdong province of China in 2002. Learn more about the origins of SARS from this article.

During the SARS outbreak of 2003-2004, high risk areas included China, Taiwan and Canada. Learn more about the high risk SARS areas from this article.

SARS causes a low white blood cell count. Learn more about how SARS affects white blood cells from this article.

There are few loftier goals than eradicating a disease. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, but, it's not for lack of trying. Read on to discover more about these efforts and learn about the top 10 eradicable diseases.

There's a reason why the person hacking a lung up on public transportation is subject to such dirty looks -- he or she is subjecting the whole bus or train car to infection. But how do infections just hang in the air?

So you've heard all the hype about H1N1 and have no interest in being infected with a combination swine-avian-human influenza monster virus. What are the best ways to go about avoiding it?

When a subject dominates the news, you can be sure that everyone's got an opinion about it. Unfortunately, some of those opinions are bound to be based on pure misinformation -- so what do you have wrong about swine flu?

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home and this little piggy gave us swine flu? Wrong. The swine flu of 2008 and 2009 doesn't even come from pigs. So why do we call it that?

MRSA, also called the superbug, is a bacterium becoming resistant to antibiotics. Read about treating MRSA infections and how MRSA can be controlled.

The giddiness over studies showing that circumcision reduces a man's risk of contracting AIDS from an infected woman has died down a bit in the wake of subsequent research. It appears that a woman's risk of contracting AIDS from an infected man may be greater if he's circumcised.

A research group in Atlanta has developed an AIDS vaccine that shows 96 percent effectiveness in non-human, pre-clinical trials. It's already in Phase I human trials and could be on the market within four years.

If you're a mother in tropical Africa, a biting mosquito is one of your worst fears, because it can transmit malaria. Learn about this serious, often fatal disease and find out why it's one of the world's most pressing public health concerns.

Your body is constantly dealing with microorganisms, its own and those introduced from the outside. Some microorganisms can cause what are called infectious diseases. Learn how the body deals with them.

If you symptoms of the pneumonic plague, you should seek expert help immediately. Check out facts, tips, and preventative information about the pneumonic plague.