Communicable Diseases

User's Guide to CCDM19

User's Guide to CCDM19

Each disease chapter in CCDM19 is presented in a standardized format that includes the following information:

Disease name: Each disease is identified by the numeric code assigned by the WHO International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9 CM) and 10th Revision, ICD-10.

Disease names recommended by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) and WHO in the International Nomenclature of Diseases, Volume II (Part 2, Mycoses, 1st edition, 1982, and Part 3, Viral Diseases, 1st edition, 1983) have been used unless the recommended name has become significantly different from that in current use. In that case, the recommended name is shown as first synonym.

  1. Identification presents the main clinical features of the disease, and differentiates the disease from others that may have a similar clinical picture. Also noted are those laboratory tests most commonly used to identify or confirm the etiological agent.

  2. Infectious agent identifies the specific agent or agents causing the disease; classifies the agent(s); and may indicate its (or their) important characteristics.

  3. Occurrence provides information on where the disease is known to occur and in which population groups it is most likely to occur. Information on past and current outbreaks may also be included.

  4. Reservoir indicates any person, animal, arthropod, plant, or substance— or combination of these—in which an infectious agent normally lives and multiplies, on which it depends primarily for survival, and where it reproduces itself in such a manner that it can be transmitted to a susceptible host.

  5. Mode of transmission describes the mechanisms by which the infectious agent is spread to or among humans.

  6. Incubation period is the time interval between initial contact with the infectious agent and the first appearance of symptoms associated with the infection.

  7. Period of communicability is the time during which an infectious agent may be transferred directly or indirectly from an infected person to another person; from an infected animal to humans; or from an infected person to animals, including arthropods.

  8. Susceptibility (including immunity) provides information on human or animal populations at risk of infection, or that are resistant to either infection or disease. Information on immunity subsequent to infection is also given.

  9. Methods of control are described under the following headings:

    1. Preventive measures: for individuals and groups.

    2. Control of patient, contacts and the immediate environment: measures designed to prevent further spread of the disease from infected persons, and specific best current treatment to minimize the period of communicability and to reduce morbidity and mortality.

      • Recommendations for isolation of patients depend first on standard (universal) precautions, with specific measures cited from CDC and WHO guidelines available on the internet, and described in more detail in the new Infection control and antimicrobial resistance chapter.

      • CCDM19 is not intended to be a therapeutic guide. However, current clinical management is presented in section 9B7 in each disease chapter. Specific dosages and clinical management are indicated primarily for those diseases where delay in instituting therapy might jeopardize the patient's life.

      • Some of the licensed drugs needed for treatment of rare or novel diseases are available at no cost from WHO, and those which are not licensed may at times be available from CDC as Investigational New Drugs (IND).

      • Relevant details, including telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, are entered in section 9B7 for those diseases where such drugs or biologics may be available.

    3. Epidemic measures: describes those procedures of an emergency character designed to limit the spread of a communicable disease that has developed widely in a group or community, or within an area, state or nation.

    4. Disaster implications: given a disaster, indicates the likelihood that the disease might constitute a major problem if preventive actions are not initiated.

    5. International measures: outlines those interventions designed to protect populations against the known risk of infection from international sources. The WHO Collaborating Centres, the CDC, and many national institutions can provide national authorities with the following services: laboratory diagnosis, consultation, analysis of information, production and distribution of standard and reference materials and reagents, training, organization of collaborative research, and provision of further information on specific diseases. WHO can be approached directly for further details about these Collaborating Centres, listed at:

      Outbreaks can be electronically reported 24 hours a day by e-mail to:

    6. Measures in case of deliberate use of biological agents to cause harm: this section provides information and guidelines for public health workers who may be confronted with a threatened or actual deliberate use of a specific infectious disease agent to cause harm.

      The relevant telephone numbers are as follows:


      • (+41) 22 791 2111

      • (+1) 770 488 7100

      • (+1) 404 639 3311

      • (+1) 404 639 2888

      The relevant websites are:

      Outbreaks can be electronically reported 24 hours a day at:

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