This topic provides basic information about the main types of infectious or contagious diseases. It includes details of how they are spread and methods of prevention and control.

The spread of infections in hospitals, care homes and other healthcare-related environments has long been a problem with which public health experts and health and social care managers have had to grapple. In such environments infections that can be acquired while receiving care are often referred to as Healthcare-associated Infections (HCAIs).

HCAIs are not only associated with residential or in-patient care. They can also occur in the community and in people being cared for at home.

This topic should be read in conjunction with related topics on Infection Control Management and Infection Prevention and Control Procedures.

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