What are infections diseases?Any disease that results from an invasion in the body that results in infection and illness. They range from the common cold and seasonal influenza to small pox and the plague.
Below are infectious diseases and diseases of bioterrorism that you may have heard about:
- Avian Flu (Influenza)
- West Nile Virus
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
- Mad Cow Disease
- Small Pox
What are emerging infections diseases?
Emerging infectious diseases result from newly identified and previously unknown infections which cause public health problems either locally or internationally.
New microorganisms capable of causing disease in humans continue to be detected. Whether an emerging microorganism develops into a public health threat depends on factors related to the microorganism and its environment, or the infected human and his/her environment. Such factors include ease of transmission between animals and people and among people, potential for spread beyond the immediate outbreak site, severity of illness, availability of effective tools to prevent and control the outbreak, and ability to treat the disease.
What are re-emerging infections diseases?
Re-emerging diseases are diseases that we once thought were eliminated or eradicated that are re-surfacing in the population. An example of this would be tuberculosis or TB. Many times the reason for this is because mass vaccination programs that once eliminated these diseases in developed countries have ended since it was assumed that it could no longer be transmitted. Once it reappears it is a concern because the current population has no immunity to these diseases. For this reason small pox has become a large bioterrorism concern.
What is antimicrobial resistance?
Another emerging public health issue is the rapidly growing number of bacteria becoming resistant to an increasing range of antibiotics. In many regions, the low cost, first choice antibiotics have lost their power to clear infections of Enterococcus, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Pneumococcus, Staphylococcus aureus - increasing the cost and length of treatment of many common diseases including epidemic diarrhoeal diseases, gonorrhea, pneumonia and otitis. Further problems result from these resistant bacteria in a hospital setting resulting in infections that complicate procedures. It is likely a medical problem we will deal with for many years. It is important to follow the instructions your physician gives you when they prescribe antibiotics and complete the course of treatment.