INFEC'TION, noun [Latin inficio.] The act of infecting, or the act by which poisonous matter, morbid miasmata or exhalations produce disease in a healthy body. The words contagion and infection are frequently confounded. The proper distinction between them is this. Contagion is the virus or effluvium generated in a diseased body, and capable of producing the specific disease in a healthy body by contact or otherwise. Marsh miasm is not properly contagion. infection is any thing that taints or corrupts; hence it includes contagion, and any other morbid, noxious matter which may excite disease in a healthy body. Hence,
1. The morbid cause which excites disease in a healthy or uninfected body. This cause may be contagion from a diseased body, or other poisonous or noxious matter received into the body or under the skin. The infection of the plague and of yellow fever, is said to be imported in ships and conveyed in clothing; persons are said to take the infection from a diseased person, or from the air of apartments where the sick are confined. The infection spreads in a city, or it is free from infection Pestilential exhalations are called infections.
Infection is used in two acceptations; first, as denoting the effluvium or infectious matter exhaled from the person of one diseased, in which sense it is synonymous with contagion; and secondly, as signifying the act of communication of such morbid effluvium, by which disease is transferred.
2. That which taints, poisons or corrupts by communication from one to another; as the infection of error or of evil example.
3. Contamination by illegality, as in cases of contraband goods.
4. Communication of like qualities.
Mankind are gay or serious by infection