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New and emerging infectious diseases 

New and emerging infectious diseases

Chapter:
New and emerging infectious diseases
Author(s):

Alex G. Stewart

, Sam Ghebrehewet

, and Peter MacPherson

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198745471.003.0026
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date: 18 August 2017

This chapter describes the increasing global problem of new and emerging infections, many zoonotic, ranging from the recently described Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) to bacteria now resistant to all locally available antimicrobial agents. The environmental, human, technological, and microbial factors contributing to disease emergence are assessed. Changes in environment and land use result in the spread of vector-borne diseases into new areas, and global travel and trade may introduce pathogens to non-immune populations. The breakdown of health services following political change or during conflict can result in the resurgence of previously controlled communicable diseases. The importance of collaboration between human and veterinary health services is emphasized, and the UK ‘DATER’ strategy (Detection, Assessment, Treatment, Escalation, Recovery) for dealing with pandemic influenza is applied to new and emerging infections. Finally, the role of internet-based, syndromic surveillance to create early awareness of new infections is considered.

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