The National Academies

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

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Information Sharing and Collaboration: Applications to Integrated Biosurveillance—Workshop Summary (2011)

After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and subsequent anthrax mailings, the U.S. government prioritized a biosurveillance strategy aimed at detecting, monitoring, and characterizing national security health threats in human and animal populations, food, water, agriculture, and the environment. However, gaps and challenges in biosurveillance efforts and integration of biosurveillance activities remain. On September 8-9, 2011, the IOM held a workshop to explore the information-sharing and collaboration processes needed for the nation's integrated biosurveillance strategy. This publication summarizes that workshop.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: Not all microbes are harmful to humans.

  • Correct!

    Not all microbes are harmful to humans. In fact, many of them protect us, helping our bodies function properly and competing with harmful organisms in an eternal contest for habitable space in or on our bodies. Although the microorganisms that cause disease often receive more attention, most microorganisms do not cause illness.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Not all microbes are harmful to humans. In fact, many of them protect us, helping our bodies function properly and competing with harmful organisms in an eternal contest for habitable space in or on our bodies. Although the microorganisms that cause disease often receive more attention, most microorganisms do not cause illness.