The National Academies

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

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

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

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 the nation imported more fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural products, our 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

Explore Other Topics

What do you know about infectious disease?

Which deadly pathogen cannot be found naturally in the wild:

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Smallpox cannot be found naturally in the wild. Smallpox was officially declared eradicated from the globe in 1980, after an 11-year WHO vaccination campaign—the first human disease to be eliminated as a naturally spread contagion. Today, the virus remains only in laboratory stockpiles.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Smallpox cannot be found naturally in the wild. Smallpox was officially declared eradicated from the globe in 1980, after an 11-year WHO vaccination campaign—the first human disease to be eliminated as a naturally spread contagion. Today, the virus remains only in laboratory stockpiles.

  • Correct!

    Smallpox cannot be found naturally in the wild. Smallpox was officially declared eradicated from the globe in 1980, after an 11-year WHO vaccination campaign—the first human disease to be eliminated as a naturally spread contagion. Today, the virus remains only in laboratory stockpiles.

Infectious Disease Defined

Mucous Membrane

The moist linings of body passages and internal cavities involved with absorption and secretion of substances.

View our full glossary

National Academies

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