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Contagion - Definition


Contagion is the propagation of a disease that is more or less serious to one or several other people. In this case, the disease is called contagious. According to the nature of the disease, it is possible to catch it from simple direct contact with the sick person through a handshake, saliva, coughing, sexual interaction, blood, or through indirect contact from clothing, bedding, or fecal material. Contagious diseases are most often due to a virus, a fungus, or a bacterium. The term contagion can also refer to parasites, such as fleas, passing frequently from one host to another. In certain cases, the disease is only contagious during a certain period and may no longer be so before the disappearance of symptoms; in other cases, it is contagious even before the appearance of the first signs of the sickness, which augments the risk of contagion.