The National Academies

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

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Effectiveness of National Biosurveillance Systems: BioWatch and the Public Health System—Interim Report (2009)

For many years, concerns about bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases have drawn attention to the need for strong surveillance systems. Experts are working to develop new and better ways to detect these biological threats as quickly as possible. One effort in this area is the Department of Homeland Security's BioWatch program.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the BioWatch program, the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council convened the Committee on Effectiveness of National Biosurveillance Systems: BioWatch and the Public Health System. This interim report contains no findings or recommendations but outlines the committee's initial progress.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the number of people in the world has: 

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Since the beginning of the 20th century the number of people in the world has more than quadrupled—from 1.6 billion to nearly 7 billion—and world population is expected to rise to well over 9 billion by 2050.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Since the beginning of the 20th century the number of people in the world has more than quadrupled—from 1.6 billion to nearly 7 billion—and world population is expected to rise to well over 9 billion by 2050.

  • Correct!

    Since the beginning of the 20th century the number of people in the world has more than quadrupled—from 1.6 billion to nearly 7 billion—and world population is expected to rise to well over 9 billion by 2050.