any part of the body touching an energized conductor.
In medicine, public health, and biology, transmission is the passing of a pathogen causing communicable disease from an infected host individual or group to a particular individual or group, regardless of whether the other individual was previously infected.
The term strictly refers to the transmission of microorganisms directly from one individual to another by one or more of the following means:
- droplet contact – coughing or sneezing on another individual
- direct physical contact – touching an infected individual, including sexual contact
- indirect physical contact – usually by touching a contaminated surface, including soil (fomite)
- airborne transmission – if the microorganism can remain in the air for long periods
- fecal-oral transmission – usually from unwashed hands, contaminated food or water sources due to lack of sanitation and hygiene, an important transmission route in pediatrics, veterinary medicine and developing countries.
Transmission can also be indirect, via another organism, either a vector (e.g. a mosquito or fly) or an intermediate host (e.g. tapeworm in pigs can be transmitted to humans who ingest improperly cooked pork). Indirect transmission could involve zoonoses or, more typically, larger pathogens like macroparasites with more complex life cycles. Transmissions can be autochthonous (i.e. between two individuals in the same place) or may involve travel of the microorganism or the affected hosts.