Methods of Controlling Common Air-borne Diseases

Methods of Controlling Common Air-borne Diseases;-Airborne diseases are caused by pathogenic microbes small enough to be discharged from an infected person via coughing, sneezing, laughing and close personal contact or aerosolization of the microbe. The discharged microbes remain suspended in the air on dust particles, respiratory and water droplets.

Airborne diseases are diseases that are caused by pathogens and transmitted through the air.


Common air-borne diseases includes:

  • Common cold – caused by viruses which are spread by droplets
  • Sore throat – acute  inflammation of the throat or pharynx
  • Flu – acute respiratory tract infection of specific viral origin
  • Bronchitis – acute  or chronic disease, caused by bacteria or virus
  • Pneumonia – acute  infection of the lungs
  • Measles –  acute infection caused by viruses common in children
  • Chickenpox –  mild viral infection, very common in children
  • Meningitis – inflammation of the meninges which covers the brain
  • Tuberculosis – infectious chronic disease of the lung tissues

Prevention and Controll Airborne Diseases

Prevention and control of air borne diseases

Since the infective particles are spread by droplets from the respiratory tract of patients or carriers, an important part of the control of these diseases is based on preventing droplets from being inhaled by others.

Methods for Controlling Airborne Disease:

  • Improved ventilation
  • Avoid overcrowding
  • Isolation
  • Health education
  • Seek treatment for any chronic cough
  • Immunization

Key Points 

  • Airborne diseases are of great public health importance
  • Airborne diseases  causes unnecessary morbidity and mortality which could be prevented
  • The control is based on preventing droplets infections spreading from one person to another


  • Cook, G., & Zumla, A. (2003). Manson’s Tropical Diseases. (21st ed).  London: Saunders Ltd.
  • Denyer, S. P., Hodges, N. A., Gorman, S. P., & Gilmore BF (2011) (eds),Hugo& Russell’s Pharmaceutical Microbiology (8th ed). Oxford: Willey-Blackwell publishing
  • Eshuis J., & Manschot, P (1992).Communicable diseases, (1sted). Nairobi: AMREF
  • GoT (2004).National Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Guidelines for Healthcare Workers. Dar es Salaam: MOHSW
  • GoT (2013).Standard Treatment Guidelines & National Essential Medicines List (4thed). Dar es Salaam: MOHSW
  • GoT (2013).National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Programme: Manual for the management of tuberculosis and leprosy (6thed) Dar es Salaam: MOHSW
  • GoT (2013).National Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Malaria. Dar es salaam: MOHSW
  • GoT (2007).National Guidelines for Management of Sexually Transmitted and Reproductive Tract Infections (1st ed). Dar es Salaam: MOHSW
  • Nordberg, E. (1999).Communicable Diseases, A Manual for Health Workers in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nairobi: AMREF
  • Nordberg, E., Kingondu, T., & Mugambi, E., et al. (2008).Communicable Diseases. (4thed). Nairobi: AMREF.