Foodborne diseases are mainly caused by consuming contaminated food or beverages.
Waterborne diseases are commonly transmitted through contaminated fresh or tap water.
Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans via direct or indirect contacts.
In principle, everyone may be at risk for contracting foodborne, waterborne or zoonotic disease although some people are more at risk than others depending on pathogen-host interactions. While most infections are mild and self-limiting, some infections may lead to serious, life-threatening conditions requiring hospital care. Deaths are less commonly attributed to food- and waterborne diseases and zoonoses but in some invasive forms of illnesses, high death rates may be recorded. The most vulnerable population groups include infants, elderly, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals (people with weak or supressed immune systems).