The National Academies

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

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

The Causes and Impacts of Neglected Tropical and Zoonotic Diseases: Opportunities for Integrated Intervention Strategies—Workshop Summary (2011)

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) afflict more than 1.4 billion people, many of whom live on less than $1.25 a day. While there are effective ways to manage NTDs, policy-makers and funders have only recently begun to recognize the economic and public health importance of controlling NTDs. The IOM's Forum on Microbial Threats held a workshop on September 21-22, 2010, to discuss the science of and policy surrounding NTDs. This publication summarizes the discussion.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: If you have a cold or the flu, taking antibiotics will help treat the infection.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, not viral infections such as influenza and the common cold. In fact, inappropriate use and overuse of antibiotics contributes to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria. 

  • Correct!

    Antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, not viral infections such as influenza and the common cold. In fact, inappropriate use and overuse of antibiotics contributes to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria.