The National Academies

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

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Emerging Viral Diseases: The One Health Connection: Workshop Summary (2015)

In the past half century, deadly disease outbreaks caused by novel viruses of animal origin - Nipah virus in Malaysia, Hendra virus in Australia, Hantavirus in the United States, Ebola virus in Africa, along with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), several influenza subtypes, and the SARS (sudden acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) coronaviruses - have underscored the urgency of understanding factors influencing viral disease emergence and spread.

Emerging Viral Diseases is the summary of a public workshop hosted in March 2014 to examine factors driving the appearance, establishment, and spread of emerging, re-emerging and novel viral diseases; the global health and economic impacts of recently emerging and novel viral diseases in humans; and the scientific and policy approaches to improving domestic and international capacity to detect and respond to global outbreaks of infectious disease. This report is a record of the presentations and discussion of the event.

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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.