Infectious diseases

What are infectious diseases?

Infectious diseases are caused by a contamination of the body or a part of the body with pathogenic micro-organisms (microbes or germs) or proteins.

This site looks at the following infectious diseases: eye infections (conjunctivitis), ear infections, respiratory tract infections, stomach infections (see reflux disease), bowel infections (see diarrhoea under inflammatory bowel disease), liver infections, gall bladder infections, skin infections, urinary tract infections and infections of the male  and female genitalia. 

What are the complaints associated with an infectious disease?

The possible symptoms of an infectious disease are:


  • Local infections: redness, swelling, pain, pain upon pressure, pus formation
  • Systemic infections: fever, cold chills, sweating, malaise, fatigue, delirium


Guidelines in Dutch for infectious diseases (from the Dutch National Coordination Centre for Infectious Disease Control) can be found on the RIVM website.


How common are infectious diseases in the general population?

The various sections describe how common each infectious disease is in the general population.


How common are infectious diseases in people with intellectual disabilities?

The various sections set out the available information for each infectious disease about how common they are in people with intellectual disabilities.