The National Academies

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

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases (2009)

H1N1 ("swine flu"), SARS, and mad cow disease are a few examples of zoonotic diseases—diseases transmitted between humans and animals. Zoonotic diseases are a growing concern given their often novel and unpredictable nature, their ability to emerge anywhere and spread rapidly around the globe, and their major economic toll on several disparate industries. Infectious disease surveillance systems are used to detect this threat to human and animal health. By systematically collecting data on the occurrence of infectious diseases in humans and animals, investigators can track the spread of disease and provide an early warning to human and animal health officials, nationally and internationally, for follow-up and response. Unfortunately, and for many reasons, current disease surveillance has been ineffective or untimely in alerting officials to emerging zoonotic diseases.

Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases assesses some of the disease surveillance systems around the world and recommends ways to improve early detection and response. The report presents solutions for improved coordination between human and animal health sectors, and among governments and international organizations.

View This Source

Related Reports

Explore Other Topics

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.