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What Are the Treatments for Communicable Diseases?

By Casey Kanen ; Updated July 27, 2017

Communicable diseases are spread from person to person via pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi. They can be common, short-lived disease like throat colds or chronic diseases like malaria and herpes. The form of treatment necessary for communicable disease depends on both the source and symptoms of the disease. However, treatment usually involves some form of rest, recuperation, medication or vaccine.


There are numerous common communicable diseases, such as throat colds and the flu. They often produce symptoms like sore throat, runny nose, coughing, sneezing, headache, fever and nausea. These can typically be treated with adequate rest and over-the-counter medication. Medication for common communicable diseases may include pain relievers like Tylenol as well as nasal decongestants, cough syrups, anti-nausea pills and throat drops. Common communicable diseases usually dissipate over the course of a few days or weeks.


Chronic communicable diseases are severe and not usually spread from person to person via airborne pathogens. They may be spread via parasites, sexual contact or transmission of bodily fluids like blood. Unlike throat colds or other common illnesses, chronic communicable diseases may last months or even a lifetime. Examples of chronic communicable disease include malaria, Lyme disease, diphtheria and hepatitis. Treatment for chronic communicable diseases usually involves some form of hospitalization, intravenous antibiotics, prescription medication and intensive care.


One effective way to treat a communicable disease is by receiving a vaccine before your body becomes infected. Vaccines work by infecting your body with a weakened strain of the actual disease. Your body then produces antibodies to fight the disease. Antibodies remain in the system after the weakened strain is gone and protect the body from later infections.

Certain vaccines need only to be administered once, such as vaccines for mumps, measles, whooping cough and polio. Others, like the flu vaccine, should be taken annually.


Prevention is the most effective form of treatment for communicable disease. Boost your immune system by incorporating high levels of antioxidants, fruits, vegetables and antihistamines into your diet. Engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise daily to maintain strength and proper circulation. Drink high amounts of water (in excess of two liters per day) and maintain adequate rest for your body. Wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, handling uncooked meat, sneezing, coughing or touching a dirty surface.


Some communicable diseases have no cure. For example, there is no cure for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like herpes and HIV. Avoiding sexual contact with individuals infected with STDs is the best and only way to ensure that you do not become infected with such communicable diseases.

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