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

The National Academies

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Prevention & Treatment

Government Policies

Keeping our nation safe from disease outbreaks depends on effective and well-coordinated programs that monitor public health. What are some of the key efforts at work in the United States?

Public Health Capacity

Multiple federal agencies work together to keep an eye on the spread of infectious disease and identify outbreaks as early as possible.

Keeping our nation healthy requires an effective public health system. The involvement of many state and federal agencies in monitoring disease has its pros and cons. Find out more. 

More about public health capacity

Food Safety

The safety of the U.S. food supply is overseen by more than a dozen federal agencies implementing at least 30 different laws.

In recent years, as imports of fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural products have increased, our nation’s food supply system has become more complex. Making sure the foods in our markets are safe is a challenge. Learn more here.

More about food safety

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Infectious Disease Videos

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What You Need to Know About Infectious Disease

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Disease Watchlist

What do you know about infectious disease?

The 1918 influenza pandemic (the so-called “Spanish” flu) is estimated to have killed how many people worldwide?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    The 1918 influenza pandemic is estimated to have killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide. Many of those deaths were due to the effects of pneumococcal pneumonia, a secondary complication of flu for which no antibiotics existed in 1918.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    The 1918 influenza pandemic is estimated to have killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide. Many of those deaths were due to the effects of pneumococcal pneumonia, a secondary complication of flu for which no antibiotics existed in 1918.

  • Correct!

    The 1918 influenza pandemic is estimated to have killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide. Many of those deaths were due to the effects of pneumococcal pneumonia, a secondary complication of flu for which no antibiotics existed in 1918.

Infectious Disease Defined

Biological Agent (Terrorism)

A bacterium, virus, prion, fungus, or other biological toxin that is used in bioterrorism or biological warfare.

View our full glossary

National Academies Press

Search the National Academies Press website by selecting one of these related terms.