The National Academies

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

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Global Issues in Water, Sanitation, and Health—Workshop Summary (2009)

As the human population grows—tripling in the past century while, simultaneously, quadrupling its demand for water—Earth's finite freshwater supplies are increasingly strained, and also increasingly contaminated by domestic, agricultural, and industrial wastes. Today approximately one-third of the world's population lives in areas with scarce water resources. Nearly one billion people currently lack access to an adequate water supply and more than twice as many lack access to basic sanitation services. It is projected that by 2025 water scarcity will affect nearly two-thirds of all people on the planet.

Recognizing that water availability, water quality, and sanitation are fundamental issues underlying infectious disease emergence and spread, the Institute of Medicine held a two-day public workshop, summarized in this volume. Through invited presentations and discussions, participants explored global and local connections between water, sanitation, and health; the spectrum of water-related disease transmission processes as they inform intervention design; lessons learned from water-related disease outbreaks; vulnerabilities in water and sanitation infrastructure in both industrialized and developing countries; and opportunities to improve water and sanitation infrastructure so as to reduce the risk of water-related infectious disease.

View This Source

Related Reports

Explore Other Topics

What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: Washing your hands with soaps that have residue-producing antibacterial products, such as those containing the chemical triclosan, have been proven to confer health benefits.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Washing with regular soap is considered the most important way to prevent disease transmission. Routine consumer use of residue-producing antibacterial products has no added benefit and may actually contribute to antibiotic resistance.

  • Correct!

    Washing with regular soap is considered the most important way to prevent disease transmission. Routine consumer use of residue-producing antibacterial products has no added benefit and may actually contribute to antibiotic resistance.