Posted by: msmc4 | March 22, 2010

Introduction to Emerging Infectious Diseases

For the past several decades, America has seen a decrease in the number of illnesses caused by infectious diseases. With this decrease, government and public health officials have directed their attention to the prevention of chronic diseases. This switch to chronic diseases has made populations in well-developed areas to overlook the possibility of contracting an infectious disease. However, through factors such as global trade and changing demographics, researchers are seeing infectious diseases being introduced into new geographic areas.

According to Stephen S. Morse, a emerging infectious disease is defined as “…infections that have newly appeared in a population or have existed but are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range.” Both bacterium and viruses can cause these emerging infectious diseases. The intention of this blog is not to scare the public, but rather to inform and educate. Blog posts following this one will cover infectious diseases labeled by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases(NIAID) as emerging or re-emerging.

“Pathogenic microbes can be resilient, dangerous foes. Although it is impossible to predict their individual emergence in time and place, we can be confident that new microbial diseases will emerge”

Institute of Medicine, 1992

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