This morning during my commute to work I listened to the news on NPR and heard some bureaucrat, when discussing the incineration of diseased animal carcasses, utter the above. I suspect that it's his own coinage, and a clumsy one at that. Has anyone else heard anyone say it - other than an apparatchik?
Can't say that I've heard it before, but it is in dictionary.com, meaning, "capable of producing infection; infectious."
You see, this is one of those times when jheem and I disagree. I don't understand why 2 words like this exist (infectious and infectivity) when they mean precisely the same thing.
It certainly appears in my dictionary as well so I assume it wasn't one of his own coinage unless he is exceptionally old. Nevertheless, I would agree that it sounds rather clumsy and certainly wouldn't be a word I would choose. Like Kalleh, I would always opt for infectious instead.
They wouldn't though, would they?. Wouldn't infectious be an adjective and infectivity a noun?
Infectivity would be the same as infectiousness.
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Infectivity returns 171K googlehits. Seems like a strange word to me, but it's definitely one used in medicine.
One definition I found online is: "The proportion of persons exposed to an infectious agent who become infected by it."
Jheem, that's just how he used it, so I supppose it's part of the jargon of the disease control folk. And Bob, you're right!