prophylaxis prō˝fĭlăk´sĭs [key], measures designed to prevent the occurrence of disease or its dissemination. Some examples of prophylaxis are immunization against serious diseases such as smallpox or diphtheria quarantine to confine communicable disease public health measures to ensure the safety of food, milk, and water the care of teeth to offset decay and restrictions put on persons with such disorders as diabetes or heart disease to prevent the aggravation of these conditions.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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