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Social and environmental risk factors in the emergence of infectious diseases

Weiss, Robin A; McMichael, Anthony

Description

Fifty years ago, the age-old scourge of infectious disease was receding in the developed world in response to improved public health measures, while the advent of antibiotics, better vaccines, insecticides and improved surveillance held the promise of eradicating residual problems. By the late twentieth century, however, an increase in the emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases was evident in many parts of the world. This upturn looms as the fourth major transition in human-microbe...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorWeiss, Robin A
dc.contributor.authorMcMichael, Anthony
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T22:49:00Z
dc.date.available2015-12-13T22:49:00Z
dc.identifier.issn1078-8956
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/80334
dc.description.abstractFifty years ago, the age-old scourge of infectious disease was receding in the developed world in response to improved public health measures, while the advent of antibiotics, better vaccines, insecticides and improved surveillance held the promise of eradicating residual problems. By the late twentieth century, however, an increase in the emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases was evident in many parts of the world. This upturn looms as the fourth major transition in human-microbe relationships since the advent of agriculture around 10,000 years ago. About 30 new diseases have been identified, including Legionnaires' disease, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)/variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), Nipah virus, several viral hemorrhagic fevers and, most recently, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and avian influenza. The emergence of these diseases, and resurgence of old ones like tuberculosis and cholera, reflects various changes in human ecology: rural-to-urban migration resulting in high-density peri-urban slums; increasing long-distance mobility and trade; the social disruption of war and conflict; changes in personal behavior; and, increasingly, human-induced global changes, including widespread forest clearance and climate change. Political ignorance, denial and obduracy (as with HIV/AIDS) further compound the risks. The use and misuse of medical technology also pose risks, such as drug-resistant microbes and contaminated equipment or biological medicines. A better understanding of the evolving social dynamics of emerging infectious diseases ought to help us to anticipate and hopefully ameliorate current and future risks.
dc.publisherNature Publishing Group
dc.sourceNature Medicine
dc.subjectKeywords: acquired immune deficiency syndrome; behavior; biological warfare; blood transfusion; bovine spongiform encephalopathy; cancer; cardiovascular disease; cholera; cigarette smoking; climate change; Creutzfeldt Jakob disease; diarrhea; disease transmission;
dc.titleSocial and environmental risk factors in the emergence of infectious diseases
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.description.refereedYes
local.identifier.citationvolume10
dc.date.issued2004
local.identifier.absfor111706 - Epidemiology
local.identifier.ariespublicationMigratedxPub8605
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationWeiss, Robin A, University College London
local.contributor.affiliationMcMichael, Anthony, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.bibliographicCitation.issue12
local.bibliographicCitation.startpageS70
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpageS76
dc.date.updated2015-12-11T10:32:02Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-10944220947
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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