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

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Animal Health at the Crossroads: Preventing, Detecting, and Diagnosing Animal Diseases (2005)

The confirmed case of "mad cow" disease (BSE) in June 2005 illustrates the economic impact of disease outbreaks, as additional countries closed their markets to U.S. beef and beef products. Emerging diseases also threaten public health—11 out of 12 of the major global disease outbreaks over the last decade were from zoonotic agents (that spread from animals to humans). Animal Health at the Crossroads: Preventing, Detecting, and Diagnosing Animal Diseases finds that, in general, the U.S. animal health framework has been slow to take advantage of state-of-the-art technologies being used now to protect public health; better diagnostic tests for identifying all animal diseases should be made a priority. The report also recommends that the nation establish a high-level, authoritative, and accountable coordinating mechanism to engage and enhance partnerships among local, state, and federal agencies, and the private sector. 

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: Washing your hands with soaps that have residue-producing antibacterial products, such as those containing the chemical triclosan, have been proven to confer health benefits.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Washing with regular soap is considered the most important way to prevent disease transmission. Routine consumer use of residue-producing antibacterial products has no added benefit and may actually contribute to antibiotic resistance.

  • Correct!

    Washing with regular soap is considered the most important way to prevent disease transmission. Routine consumer use of residue-producing antibacterial products has no added benefit and may actually contribute to antibiotic resistance.