Infection vs. Disease

The major difference between infection and disease is that infection denotes the invasion of microorganisms to the body and disease is the manifestation (sign and symptoms) of any pathological process in the body either infectious or noninfectious.

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Infection vs. Disease

Commonly infection and disease are considered the same thing, but they are different entities. Infection is the attack of microorganisms on the body. These microorganisms include bacteria, virus, fungi or parasites. While the disease is the manifestation of any pathological process in the body. This pathological process may be an infectious or noninfectious, i.e., allergic disorder, an autoimmune process, trauma, inherited or chromosomal defect all contribute to the disease.

The symptoms of infection are particular for each kind of infection, but commonly they include fever, headache, muscle pain, stomach pain, diarrhea, rigors and chills, sweating, weight loss, anorexia, etc. The symptom of each disease is particular for the nature of the disease. For example chest pain for heart disease, shortness of breath for lung disease, burning micturition for UTI, flank pain in renal stones, pain in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen in the gall stones and generalized abdomen pain in the case of intestinal obstruction.

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Infection is a type of response of the immune system of our body against any pathogen while disease takes place when this infection weakens the immune system of our body and body cells are damaged. The disease may also occur due to noninfectious reasons as mentioned above.

Infection is treated by antibiotics, antifungal, antiviral or antiparasitic drugs according to the nature of the disease while the disease is treated according to its etiology. For example, different types of drugs are used for the treatment of stomach pain, heart pain, hepatic failure, lung disease or kidney disease. Sometimes, surgical intervention is also needed to treat the disease.

Examples of infections may be given as influenza, sore throat, meningitis, whooping cough, liver abscess, whooping cough, malaria, etc. While examples of different diseases are chronic bronchitis, congestive heart failure, alcoholic hepatitis, pancreatitis, peptic ulcer disease, kidney stones, kyphosis, and scoliosis, etc.

Infections can be avoided by vaccination while it cannot be said that every disease can be prevented by vaccination.

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Comparison chart

Basis Infection Disease
Definition Infection is the invasion of pathogens to the body. The pathogen may be virus, bacteria, fungi or parasite.The disease is the manifestation of any pathological process in the body, i.e., inflammation, ischemia, allergy, autoimmune, chromosomal or inherited defects.
Symptoms The symptoms of infection are particular for each type of infection, but common symptoms are fever, headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, etc.The symptom of each disease is particular according to the nature of disease for example shortness of breath in lung disease, flank pain in kidney stones, right hypochondrium pain in gall stones, heartburn in peptic ulcer disease and leg pain in varicose veins.
What is Infection is the response of one’s immune system to the microorganisms.The disease takes place when one’s immune system is compromised after the invasion of microorganisms.
Treatment Infection is treated with antibiotics, antiviral drugs, antifungal or antiparasitic drugs according to the nature of infection.The disease is managed according to the underlying cause of the disease. Sometimes surgical intervention is also needed for example gall bladder is removed in case of gall stones.
Examples Examples of infections can be given as meningitis, whooping cough, flu, diarrhea, sore throat, liver abscess, malaria, etc.Examples of different diseases can be given as bronchitis, asthma, stroke, ulcerative colitis, varicosities, chronic lung disease or liver disease.
Transfer to other persons Infections are able to be transferred from one person to another by food, water, wind, droplets, blood, mites, flies, vectors, etc.Diseases are not able to be transferred from one person to another.
Inherited or not Infections are not inherited to the next generation.Diseases may be inherited to the next generation.
Vaccination Vaccination is available against infections which prevent infections from occurring.Vaccination is not available against noninfectious diseases.
Prevention Infections can be avoided by maintaining good hygiene, good hand washing practice and avoiding close contact with the affected person.Diseases can be prevented by lifestyle modifications, proper diet, taking routine exercise and undergoing a routine medical checkup.
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What is an infection?

An infection is the attack of microorganisms on the body. The microorganisms include bacteria, virus, fungi, and parasites. Infections are able to be transmitted from one person to the other person in many ways like by food, water, blood, droplets, wind, vectors, and other ways. Vaccination against infectious diseases is available, and infections can be prevented if you have got the vaccination. The examples of common infections can be given as meningitis, diarrhea, influenza, malaria, TB, whooping cough and liver abscess, etc. The symptoms of each infection are particular according to the nature of infection. In bacterial infection, there is high-grade fever, but in viral infections, there is low-grade fever or no fever. Other symptoms include muscle aches, diarrhea, and headache. Treatment of infections is done by antibiotics, antiviral drugs, antifungal or antiparasitic drugs according to the nature of infections.

What is a disease?

A disease is the manifestation of any pathological process in the body either infectious process or noninfectious one like allergy, hypersensitivity, an autoimmune process, inflammation, trauma, hemorrhage, inherited or genetic defects. Disease due to infection occurs when the immune system of one’s body gets compromised, and the signs and symptoms of the infection are manifested. Examples of different diseases can be given as hypertension, asthma, bronchitis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, heart attack, stroke, peptic ulcer disease, diabetes, esophageal varicosities, etc. The disease can be prevented by maintaining a good lifestyle, taking proper diet and exercise and undergoing a routine medical checkup.

Key differences

  1. Infection is the invasion of pathogens to the body while the disease is the manifestation of any pathological process in the body.
  2. Infection is transmitted from person to person through many sources, but noninfectious diseases are not transmitted.
  3. Vaccination against infection is available but not available for non infectious diseases.
  4. Underlying causes of infections are bacteria, virus, fungus or protozoa while those of diseases are trauma, inflammation, ischemia, allergy, autoimmune process or chromosomal defects.
  5. Infections are not inherited, but diseases may be inherited

Conclusion

In general, disease and infection are considered the same thing, but they are different entities. It is important for a common person to know the differences between both. In the above article, we learned the clear differences between disease and infection.

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