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.

Learn More / Page 2

Only Charlie Sheen knows exactly why he went public with his HIV diagnosis last fall, but public health researchers are glad he did, as more people sought information.

By Jesslyn Shields

The WHO has declared such an emergency only three times before. And in the U.S., public health authorities are reporting the first sexually transmitted Zika infection.

By Julia Layton

There's such a thing as getting too close to nature. Many diseases that infect animals can make the jump to humans, sometimes with deadly consequences.

By Debra Ronca

Advertisement

It might seem counterintuitive for labs to stock highly contagious diseases, but some researchers insist it's with good reason.

By Debra Ronca

Ebola patients transported out of Africa don't fly on regular commercial or private planes; they fly on jets modified and operated according to strict protocol.

By Debra Ronca

Some people believe being Rh-negative type makes them immune to viruses like Ebola. Let's get to the bottom of this theory.

By Debra Ronca

The cause of bubonic plague was a mystery until the 1890s, but that's not the only disease we've been confused about over the years. Which other illnesses have we gotten wrong?

By Maria Trimarchi

Advertisement

Syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia -- no one wants to hear those words from their doctor. Are these all we have to worry about, or are there other sexually transmitted horrors in the making?

By Patrick J. Kiger

Modern medicine may be here, but there are still plenty of infectious diseases to combat, and the CDC is really busy doing that. Get to know 10 of these public (health) enemies.

By Nicholas Gerbis

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?

By Meisa Salaita

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?

By Patrick J. Kiger

Advertisement

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

By Alia Hoyt

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.

By Maria Trimarchi

You may think you know Ebola. You probably don't. The infectious disease has killed thousands in West Africa and has reappeared on the continent once again. What have scientists learned since the last outbreak?

By Patrick J. Kiger & Meisa Salaita

Learn about HIV – a life-altering disease that so many people know so little about.

By Jennifer Wolfe

Advertisement

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.

By Maria Trimarchi

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

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Advertisement

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

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

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

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

Advertisement

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.

By Robynne Boyd

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?

By Molly Edmonds