Transmission (medicine)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In medicine, transmission is the passing of a disease from an infected individual or group to a previously uninfected individual or group. The microorganisms (bacteria and viruses) that cause disease may be transmitted from one person to another by one or more of the following means:

  • droplet contact - coughing or sneezing on another person
  • direct physical contact - touching an infected person, including sexual contact
  • indirect contact - usually by touching soil contamination or a contaminated surface
  • airborne transmission - if the microorganism can remain in the air for long periods
  • fecal-oral transmission - usually from contaminated food or water sources
  • vector borne transmission - carried by insects or other animals

Microorganisms vary widely in the length of time that they can survive outside the human body, and so vary in how they are transmitted.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Transmission (medicine)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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