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

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Achieving Sustainable Global Capacity for Surveillance and Response to Emerging Diseases of Zoonotic Origin—Workshop Summary (2008)

One of the biggest threats today is the uncertainty surrounding the emergence of a novel pathogen or the re-emergence of a known infectious disease that might result in disease outbreaks with great losses of human life and immense global economic consequences. Over the past six decades, most of the emerging infectious disease events in humans have been caused by zoonotic pathogens—those infectious agents that are transmitted from animals to humans. In June 2008, the Institute of Medicine's and National Research Council's Committee on Achieving Sustainable Global Capacity for Surveillance and Response to Emerging Diseases of Zoonotic Origin convened a workshop. This workshop addressed the reasons for the transmission of zoonotic disease and explored the current global capacity for zoonotic disease surveillance.


 

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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.