Skip to content

Difference Between Infection and Disease


You might be wondering how infection and disease differ from each other when both of them are actually a disease that causes issues inside the body.

The article has been written to guide you on how infection and disease differ from each other. Although both infection and disease have a similar reason for occurrence and share the same passage still, the two totally differ in application and meaning.

Infection refers to the process where microorganisms enter the body and can cause disease. The infection weakens the immunity system and starts producing harm to the body, which is termed a disease.

The article has explained infection and disease in detail along with the comparison table to help you visualize how they are different from each other.

What is Infection

Infection refers to the process when a virus, fungus, bacteria, or any other pathogen enters and multiplies inside the body. The replication of a pathogen causes harm to the body, which is known as infection.

Infection can happen anywhere inside the body, from the skin to the respiratory and digestive tract. There are different symptoms of infection depending upon the type of the pathogen and the level of the infection. Some infections can cause harm to the whole body, which requires clinical observation instantly.

The symptoms of an infection include fever, chills, pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, cough, vomiting, etc. which entirely depend upon the infection and the organ it has targeted.

An infection is categorized into various types depending upon its different characteristics. There is a clinical and subclinical infections, whereas, in clinical infection, the symptoms are visible in the body, whereas in subclinical, the body gives no clues of an infection.

Infection is also categorized based on its movement inside the body. Some infections have the capability of spreading to the whole body through lymphatic or blood vessels, which is called a systemic infection. The infection that remains in one organ and does not spread is known as localized infection.

Viral infections caused by the pathogen virus are usually systemic infections that cause symptoms in different body parts. For example, Flu causes cough, runny nose, and muscle and joint pain combinedly.

The transmission of infection can take place through a variety of mediums. It can spread orally, by droplet contact, sexually, vector transmission, direct contact transmission, fecal transmission, etc.

Infections can be prevented by maintaining proper hygiene, drinking pure water, and wearing masks, as this might cause serious harm inside the body that can be fatal as well.

What is Disease

A healthy body is one where all organs are normal and function properly. When organs start behaving abnormally and go into a dysfunctional state along with causing different kinds of signs and symptoms, we call it a disease.

Broadly a disease is classified into two types:

·       Communicable disease

·       Non-communicable disease

Communicable diseases are those that can be transferred from one organ to another. This type of disease is usually caused by pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites that enter the body and replicate. The communicable disease causes multiple symptoms and can be life-threatening.

Non-communicable diseases are of four types; cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes Mellitus, and chronic respiratory disease. This type of disease is a chronic disease that lasts for a longer period and progresses slowly.

Non-communicable diseases are genetic and can also occur due to environmental conditions. There are abnormalities in a body since birth, such as cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome which are also non-communicable diseases.

The disease is also classified based on the number of days it lasts inside the body. These are:

Peracute: Lasts for a few hours to 3 days. The disease includes allergy, poison, or some infections.

Acute: Lasts from 2 to 7 days. The disease includes infectious diseases and inflammatory processes.

Subacute: Last from 7 to 20 days. Fungal and bacterial infections are included in this type of disease.

Chronic: It lasts for more than 20 days. Autoimmune diseases are usually part of this type of disease.

The treatment of a disease depends upon its type and condition. Some diseases can be cured by giving medications, while some require surgeries. Some diseases have no medicine or surgery and can only be cured by self-care.

A body can protect itself from any disease. By following hygiene protocol, maintaining a proper diet, timely checkups, vaccination, and early diagnosis of an illness, a disease can be stopped from causing any significant damage inside the body.

The Difference Table

DefinitionAttack of microorganisms inside the body, causing harmWeakness of immune system due to pathogen attack
TransmissibilityContagiousNon-contagious or contagious
CausesPathogensInjury, infection, hereditary, lifestyle, etc.
TreatmentMedicines, surgery, healthy lifestyleMedicines
SymptomsPain, fever, cough, runny nose, etcNausea, vomiting, breathing issues, bleeding, etc.
ExamplesRespiratory tract infection, eyes infection, etcAsthma, bronchitis, cancer, etc.


I hope you have a clear idea now on how infection and virus differ from each other. Pathogens cause infection, whereas disease is caused by infection. The two are interconnected but differ entirely from each other.

Infections usually left untreated cause a disease; therefore, if a body maintains a healthy lifestyle, eats and sleeps properly, and follows appropriate hygiene, it can minimize the chances of infections and ultimately diseases. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.