Infection and Disease are two words that are often confused as one and the same. In fact these two medical terms are different in their meanings. Infection is understood in the sense of contamination. Contaminating air or water with harmful organisms is said to cause infection. Infection affects a person with disease.
On the other hand disease is the end result of an infection. This is the main difference between infection and disease. In short it can be said that infection leads to disease. A person gets a disease if he or she carries an infection. For example a person gets the disease called malaria if he carries an infection caused in his body by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito.
The bite of the mosquito contaminates or infects the body of the person with harmful organisms. As a result the person develops head ache, fever which is accompanied by heavy shivering and other symptoms of malaria.
On the other hand infection can also be caused by disease as in the case of the disease of tuberculosis or TB. A patients affected by TB infects the people around him with harmful organisms arising out of the air exhaled from him or the cough. This is primarily the reason why doctors ask the patients affected by infectious diseases to be away from the people in their household. This is done to protect the people in the household from catching the infection produced by the disease.
There are medications for diseases but there are no medicines to keep the infections away. Infections can only be prevented but cannot be cured. They can be cured only after they have caused diseases. Preventive measures alone are suggested to keep infections at bay. These are the differences between infection and disease.