Infectious diseases are illnesses caused by the spread of microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites) or prions to humans from other humans, animals or the environment, including food and water.
The Communicable Disease Control Branch of the South Australia Department of Health, has produced a book as a downloadable Adobe PDF which aims to give a basic understanding of the ways infectious diseases are spread and to provide practical steps to prevent the spread of these diseases in the home and in the community.
The contends of the book, by section and by individual fact sheets, are available on the Communicable Disease Control Branch section of the Health SA web site: You've Got What? website . The individual fact sheets are updated more often than the book, so for the most up to date information on a specific topic, check the web site. Download the PDF for a readily available reference on a range of diseases and causes from animal bites and chickenpox to malaria, warts and whooping cough.
For infectious diseases not included in the book, the CDCB recommends you seek out the book 'Control of Communicable Diseases Manual', edited by David L. Heymann, 18th edition, 2004.
This manual is available for purchase in print, web and mobile versions (for purchase) from the American Public Health Associations Partner Unbound Medical web site. Or, you may find a copy at your local library.