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Health and Disease

Health and Diseases Synopsis


  • Health is defined as the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. 
  • The health of an individual relies on many factors. It is affected by changing internal and external factors including personal, economic, environmental and social factors.
  • Health is affected not because of a single factor but due to the interaction of many different factors. These interactions ultimately decide the health of an individual.
  • Good health of an individual is the collective effort of the individual, the community, the society in which he lives and his physical environment. Health is both a biological and a social phenomenon.
  • A healthy body is the first step towards a happy life. A basic understanding of how to improve our health and how to prevent and eradicate different diseases are some of the steps which can be taken towards attaining better health.   


  • The science and practice of maintaining good health is known as hygiene.

Personal Hygiene

The main factors which contribute to personal hygiene and good health are personal cleanliness, physical exercise, rest and sleep and healthy habits.

  1. Personal Cleanliness
  • We must wash our hands with soap after handling things such as books, furniture, tools and machinery in workshops, pets and other domestic animals as many of them carry germs. 
  • Bathing regularly keeps the skin free from germs and body odour. 
  • We should keep our hair clean by regularly washing it with a good shampoo.
  • We should brush and comb our hair regularly so that we look smart and tidy. 
  • We should brush our teeth twice a day, once when we get up in the morning and before going to bed at night. 
  • We should cover our nose and mouth with a handkerchief while sneezing or coughing to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Remember to dry your ears after bath and shake out the water which enters your ears after you return from a swim.

       2. Physical Exercise

  • Exercise helps maintain efficiency, size and strength of the muscles. It keeps the muscles, bones and joints in good condition. 
  • e should include a minimum of 15 minutes of regular exercise in our daily routine. 

       3. Rest and Sleep

  • Our body gets sufficient rest when we sleep. We need sufficient sleep to wake up refreshed and recharged for the next day.

       4. Healthy Habits

  • We must try to go to bed early and not go to sleep immediately after eating dinner.
  • We must ensure that our bowels are cleared every day, if possible in the morning.
  • We should eat a balanced diet which contains sufficient amounts of fibrous vegetables, fruits and buttermilk.
  • We must drink plenty of water throughout the day. We should try to avoid drinking water with our meals.  

Community Hygiene

  • It is important to keep our surroundings clean to stay healthy.
  • Public drains and garbage should be covered and sprinkled with disinfectants such as bleaching powder and lime. 
  1. Maintaining Proper Sanitation of the Environment
  • Provide clean and safe drinking water.
  • Provide good sewage and rain water disposal systems.
  • Ensure proper garbage disposal.
  • Ensure strict enforcement of anti-pollution laws, management of different types of environmental pollution by Central and State Control Boards.

       2. Providing Proper Facilities for Prevention and Control of Diseases

  • Provide preventive vaccinations against diseases like tuberculosis, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, measles, hepatitis, polio and mumps. 
  • Spray mosquito and germ-killing chemicals at regular intervals. 

       3. Providing Health Education

  • Educate people about the mode of transmission of diseases and mechanism to control communicable diseases
  • Tell people about the importance of balanced diet; effects of bad habits and addiction.

       4. Establishment of Health Care Services

  • Open Primary Health Centres, District Hospitals, Community Health Centres, Medical Colleges, All India institutes, Regional Hospitals, etc. 

       5. Prevention of Food Adulteration

  • Ensure good quality and unadulterated food is supplied to everyone.

       6. Providing Maternity and Child Care Centres

  • Open child care centres to reduce mortality rate among children. 
  • Provide family planning advice and medical care to school going children.  


  • A condition of the body in which vital functions are disturbed physiologically or psychologically is called a disease. 
  • Disease is the departure from normal health through a structural or functional disorder of the body. 

Sources of Diseases


Types of Diseases


  1. Acute diseases: Diseases in which the symptoms are quickly visible in the body and last for a shorter duration are called acute diseases. Examples: Common cold, malaria
  2. Chronic diseases: Diseases which are long-term, with their symptoms lasting for months or years, are called chronic diseases. Examples: Elephantiasis, tuberculosis.
  3. Congenital diseases: Congenital diseases are present right from the birth. They are caused either due to genetic disorders or environmental factors during development or due to combination of these factors. Examples: Colour blindness, sickle cell anaemia.
  4. Acquired diseases: Diseases which develop after birth are called acquired diseases. They are broadly classified into two types:
  1. Communicable or infectious diseases: Diseases caused due to infectious agents or pathogens are called communicable or infectious diseases. Examples: Tuberculosis, chickenpox, measles 
  2. Non-communicable or non-infectious diseases: Diseases which do not spread from one person to another are called non-communicable or non-infectious diseases. Examples: Beriberi, scurvy, arthritis 
Differences between Infectious and Non-infectious Diseases
Means of Spread of Infectious Diseases 
  • Air-borne diseases: Diseases which spread through air when droplets of pathogens are expelled into the air due to coughing, sneezing or talking are called air-borne diseases. Examples: Influenza, meningitis
  • Water-borne diseases: Diseases caused due to consumption of contaminated water are called water-borne diseases. Examples: Typhoid fever, cholera, hepatitis A
  • Food-borne diseases: Diseases caused due to consumption of food contaminated with chemical toxins or pathogens are called food-borne diseases. Examples: Taeniasis, Trichinosis
  • Vector-borne diseases: Diseases caused by pathogens transmitted by intermediaries or vectors such as insects and ticks are called vector-borne diseases. Examples: Malaria, elephantiasis
  • Sexually transmitted diseases: Diseases caused by pathogens transmitted by sexual contact from one partner to another are called sexually transmitted diseases. Examples: AIDS, syphilis
  • Fomite-borne diseases: Diseases caused by pathogens present on inanimate objects such as clothing, bedding, handkerchief, toilet articles, utensils, drinking cups and glasses used by infectious people are called fomite-borne diseases. Examples: Scabies, ringworm

Organ-specific and Tissue-specific Manifestations of Diseases

  • Our body is quite large and so there are many possible ways in which disease-causing microbes may enter our body. The symptoms depend on the target of pathogens.
  • Symptoms are evidences which point to the presence of diseases. They are visible in the form of structural and functional changes in the body or body parts. 
  • The signs and symptoms of a disease depend on the tissue or organ which the microbe targets. If lungs are the target, then the symptoms of the disease would be cough and breathlessness. If the liver is targeted, then there will be jaundice. 
  • The severity of disease manifestation depends on the number of microbes within the body. If the number of microbes is very small, then the disease manifestations may be minor or unnoticed. However, if the number of microbes is large, then the disease can be severe enough to be life-threatening.
  • Our immune system is a major factor which determines the number of microbes surviving inside the body. It fights against the microbes which cause diseases. 
  • During infection, the immune system gets activated. It sends many soldier cells to the affected tissue to kill the microbes. This causes inflammation.