How to prevent the spread of diseases

The transmission of pathogens can be prevented or reduced in a number of ways. A number of 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.