The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

 

New infectious diseases are emerging and old ones are appearing in new places around the globe. What’s behind this trend? And to what extent has human behavior amplified the problem? The National Academies, advisers to the nation in science, engineering, and medicine, provide the information you need to understand this complex topic.

 

Infection

Microbes are all around us. Most don’t do any harm but what about the few that cause infection? Learn the basics.

Threats

Certain aspects of disease are a particular threat to us today. What are some of the things we're most concerned about in the United States?

Challenges

Infectious disease isn’t limited by national borders. Learn how our modern way of life contributes to the spread and emergence of disease.

Prevention

What do we need to do—as individuals and as a society—to stave off the threat of infectious disease?

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Infectious Disease Videos

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What You Need to Know About Infectious Disease

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: Infection with a pathogen (a disease-causing microbe) does not necessarily lead to disease.

  • Correct!

    Infection occurs when viruses, bacteria, or other microbes enter your body and begin to multiply. Disease follows when the cells in your body are damaged as a result of infection, and signs and symptoms of an illness appear.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Infection occurs when viruses, bacteria, or other microbes enter your body and begin to multiply. Disease follows when the cells in your body are damaged as a result of infection, and signs and symptoms of an illness appear.

Infectious Disease Defined

Pathogen

A biological agent that causes disease.

View our full glossary

Disease Watchlist

Campylobacteriosis

Campylobacteriosis is a diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium campylobacter, which lives harmlessly in most non-human, warm-blooded animals and grows best in the intestines of birds.

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