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

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Global Infectious Disease Surveillance and Detection: Assessing the Challenges, Finding Solutions—Workshop Summary (2007)

The surveillance and early detection of diseases is critical to the control of both naturally occurring and intentionally dispersed infectious diseases. As different parts of the world become more connected and disease is able to spread more easily through transient humans, animals, and plants, global disease surveillance systems are increasingly vital to maintaining global health. One of the biggest challenges to creating a comprehensive disease surveillance system is gathering information in developing countries that lack the tools and infrastructure needed for traditional disease detection and diagnosis. In December 2006, the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Microbial Threats hosted a workshop to examine these issues and explore possible ways in which to improve global disease surveillance. Global Infectious Disease Surveillance and Detection summarizes this workshop, in which participants examined current and emerging methods of infectious disease surveillance and detection and discussed opportunities for new tools and methods that could be used in disease reporting and diagnosis. 

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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.