How to prevent the spread of diseases

The transmission of pathogens can be prevented or reduced in a number of ways. Important methods of doing this are shown in the table below.

MethodExampleHow it works
Sterilising waterCholeraChemicals or UV light kill pathogens in unclean water.
Suitable hygiene - foodSalmonellaCooking foods thoroughly and preparing them in hygienic conditions kills pathogens.
Suitable hygiene - personalAthlete's footWashing surfaces with disinfectants kills pathogens. Treating existing cases of infection kills pathogens.
VaccinationMeaslesVaccinations introduce a small or weakened version of a pathogen into your body, and the immune system learns how to defend itself.
ContraceptionHIV/AIDsUsing barrier contraception like condoms stops the transfer of bodily fluids and sexually transmitted diseases.
Avoid overcrowdingPowdery mildewKeeping organisms away from one another reduces the chance of the pathogen being close enough to spread from one organism to another.