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Diarrhoea and vomiting 

Diarrhoea and vomiting
Chapter:
Diarrhoea and vomiting
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198729228.003.0012
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date: 26 June 2019

Among infectious diseases, a number of infections remain a constant threat to humans. In addition, there are the emerging, re-emerging (or resurging), newly recognized, and deliberately emergent infectious diseases. Emerging and re-emerging infections are often a consequence of complex interactions between the pathogen, the host, and the environment. Pathogens, particularly viruses, have a selective advantage in adapting to new ecological niches because of their high replication rates. Host factors include: population growth and migration; increase in international travel, trade, technology, and industry; behavioural changes; an ageing population; the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and immunosuppressive drugs; breakdown of public health measures; war; poverty and social inequality; and intentional biological attacks. Environmental factors (many of them induced by humans) include: climate and weather changes; agricultural development and land use; changing ecosystems; livestock farming; changing relationships between humans and animals; deforestation; reforestation; urbanization; famine; and flooding.

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