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

The National Academies

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?

True or False: Major pharmaceutical companies have great interest in dedicating resources to the antibiotics market because these short-course drugs are more profitable than drugs that treat chronic conditions and lifestyle ailments, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Drugs that treat chronic conditions and lifestyle ailments are more profitable. Modern medicine needs new kinds of antibiotics to treat drug-resistant infections, but antibiotic research and development are expensive, risky, and time-consuming.

  • Correct!

    Drugs that treat chronic conditions and lifestyle ailments are more profitable. Modern medicine needs new kinds of antibiotics to treat drug-resistant infections, but antibiotic research and development are expensive, risky, and time-consuming.