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Infectious disease

Infectious diseases are ones that can spread from person to person, eg through skin contact or through the air when people are in close proximity to one another.

Some common infectious diseases include flu, measles, and COVID-19.

One of the top risks to people’s health in our area is the potential rise of an emerging infectious disease. Recent examples of emerging infectious diseases are Ebola and the Zika virus. These are classed as emerging infectious diseases because they were recently diagnosed, or because the number of cases has increased over the last 20 years in a specific location or among a specific population.

What can you do?

We can all do simple things to reduce our risk of catching or spreading both emerging and more established infectious diseases. This includes washing our hands regularly, staying at home if we’re feeling poorly, and getting any vaccinations we are eligible for through the NHS. Please visit to find out more about different vaccinations offered by the NHS.

Monitoring infectious diseases

Infectious diseases are closely monitored by UK public health agencies such as UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), as well as international partners like the World Health Organisation. Local Resilience Forum partners in the NHS and the Local Authorities will share vital public health information with our local communities when a specific infectious disease emerges, and also routinely spread awareness of established infectious diseases so that people across Cambridgeshire & Peterborough know what to do to reduce their risk.

Information for international travel

Some countries may have a high prevalence of certain infectious diseases that are not as common in the UK. You may therefore need to consider getting special vaccinations before you travel internationally. To find out more about travel vaccinations, please visit Travel vaccinations - NHS (

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