21 important terms and definitions on Health Education and Community Pharmacy


A knowledge of a few terms is essential for studying Health Education and Community Pharmacy. The following are a few important terms and their definitions.

1. Infectious agent: It is a micro-organism like bacteria, virus, fungus or protozoa which is capable of producing an infection.

2. Infection: It is the entry and development of an infectious agent in the body.


3. Infectious disease: It is a disease resulting from infection.

4. Infestation: It is the presence of a parasite either on the surface or in the tissue of the body e.g. round worm infestation.

5. Contagious disease: It is disease which is transmitted from one individual to the other by direct contact.

6. Communicable disease: It is a common term which includes both infectious and contagious diseases.


7. Sporadic: It is the occasional occurrence of a disease in a few individuals in scattered or isolated areas.

8. Endemic: It is a disease restricted to a particular area in a relatively low level throughout the year.

9. Epidemic: It is the quick and rapid spreading of a disease on a mass scale.

10. Pandemic: It is a disease which spreads from one country to the other in a short time or occurs in different countries at the same time.


11. Exotic: It is a disease which is introduced from a foreign land.

12. Epizootic: It is an epidemic occurring in animals.

13. Zoonotic: It is an infectious disease of animals through which it affects human beings.

14. Carriers: They are individuals who possess the infectious agent without suffering from the disease but are capable of transmitting the disease to others.


15. Incubation period: It is the latent period between the entry of an infectious agent into the body and the onset of symptoms of a disease.

16. Quarantine: It is the isolation of an infected individual such that he does not mingle with others till the incubation period of the infecting organism is over.

17. Toxin: It is a harmful substance produced in the body by an infecting micro-organism.

18. Endotoxin: It is a toxic substance produced by a microorganism when it is alive and the toxic substance affects a distant tissue away from the site where the organism lives.


20. Vectors: They are insects like mosquitoes, flies, lice etc. which transmit a disease.

21. Fomites: They are articles like towel, utensils, pens, pencils or even books which can absorb, retain and transfer an infection.

21. Fomites: They are articles like towel, utensils, pens, pencils or even books which can absorb, retain and transfer an infection.

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