Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi which can be spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another. Until recently, Australia had not experienced a significant incidence or impact from infectious diseases in decades but the recent occurrence of COVID 19 has made all of us aware of the dramatic impacts that an infectious disease can have on both individual and community wellbeing.

Infectious agents/diseases can be spread in a variety of ways, including:

  • Breathing in airborne germs – coughs or sneezes release airborne pathogens, which are then inhaled by others.
  • Touching contaminated objects or eating contaminated food.
  • Skin-to-skin contact – the transfer of some pathogens can occur through touch, or by sharing personal items, clothing or objects.
  • Contact with body fluids.

To avoid the spread of infectious disease, it is vitally important that individuals and communities are aware of the mitigation measures that can be undertaken. When infectious diseases are prevalent in our regions and local communities, the basis of good infection control is to assume that everyone is potentially infectious and to practice good hygiene habits..