Difference Between Contagious and Infectious

The recent Ebola outbreak has caused more than one person to fear leaving their home, a similar fear experienced by many individuals at the time of the Black Death. Hand in hand with these diseases come two scientific terms that are often used interchangeably; even by the same experts: infectious and contagious. Difference Between Contagious and Infectious 

While it is true that the aforementioned diseases are quite fearsome, it is also true that in certain cases the indistinct use of the words “contagious” or “infectious” can cause greater confusion among people; which translates into greater concern and higher levels of anxiety in people.

So that you have everything clear and do not be alarmed more than necessary, below we explain the difference between them.

CONTAGIOUS  Difference Between Contagious and Infectious 

When we say that something is contagious we are referring to that something can easily be transmitted from one person to another, either by direct contact or by proximity.

A person can catch something by having contact or touching certain things, exchanging objects with others or having sex with someone who suffers from a disease.

Now, the term contagious is not just limited to terrible diseases; Laughter can also be contagious and even a yawn.

Examples of contagious conditions

  • Influenza
  • Flu
  • Laugh
  • Sleep
  • Laugh


On the other hand, all diseases caused by microorganisms and that are easily transmitted between people; they are considered infectious diseases.

All infectious diseases fall into the contagious category, but as you may have already noticed; not only infections are contagious.

Examples of infectious diseases

  • Malaria
  • Anger
  • Ebola

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