A quarter of deaths worldwide are caused by infectious organisms. As new infectious diseases are continuing to emerge in new locations around the globe, it is essential society understands the environmental, human health, and ecological impacts cause by infectious diseases. This collection provides an overview of infectious disease, including the biology, history, the future trends of widespread and harmful infections, and what we need to do individually, and as a society, to address this growing global challenge.
About a quarter of deaths worldwide--many of them children--are caused by infectious organisms. The World Health Organization reports that new infectious diseases are continuing to emerge and familiar ones are appearing in new locations around the globe. What's behind this trend? How can invisible organisms cause such harm? And to what extent has human behavior amplified the problem? What You Need to Know About Infectious Disease provides an overview of ...[more]
H1N1 ("swine flu"), SARS, mad cow disease, and HIV/AIDS are a few examples of zoonotic diseases-diseases transmitted between humans and animals. Zoonotic diseases are a growing concern given multiple factors: their often novel and unpredictable nature, their ability to emerge anywhere and spread rapidly around the globe, and their major economic toll on several disparate industries. Infectious disease surveillance systems are used to detect this threat to ...[more]
Modern transportation allows people, animals, and plants--and the pathogens they carry--to travel more easily than ever before. The ease and speed of travel, tourism, and international trade connect once-remote areas with one another, eliminating many of the geographic and cultural barriers that once limited the spread of disease. Because of our global interconnectedness through transportation, tourism and trade, infectious diseases emerge more frequently; spread greater distances; pass more easily between ...[more]
In March and early April 2009, a new, swine-origin 2009-H1N1 influenza A virus emerged in Mexico and the United States. During the first few weeks of surveillance, the virus spread by human-to-human transmission worldwide to over 30 countries. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 6 in response to the ongoing global spread of the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus. ...[more]
Vector-borne infectious diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and plague, cause a significant fraction of the global infectious disease burden; indeed, nearly half of the world's population is infected with at least one type of vector-borne pathogen (CIESIN, 2007; WHO, 2004a). Vector-borne plant and animal diseases, including several newly recognized pathogens, reduce agricultural productivity and disrupt ecosystems throughout the world. These diseases profoundly restrict socioeconomic status and development ...[more]
Globalization is by no means a new phenomenon; transcontinental trade and the movement of people date back at least 2,000 years, to the era of the ancient Silk Road trade route. The global spread of infectious disease has followed a parallel course. Indeed, the emergence and spread of infectious disease are, in a sense, the epitome of globalization. Although some experts mark the fall of the Berlin Wall as the ...[more]
Public health officials and organizations around the world remain on high alert because of increasing concerns about the prospect of an influenza pandemic, which many experts believe to be inevitable. Moreover, recent problems with the availability and strain-specificity of vaccine for annual flu epidemics in some countries and the rise of pandemic strains of avian flu in disparate geographic regions have alarmed experts about the world's ability to prevent or ...[more]