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Factors and determinants of disease emergence
|Author(s) :||S.S. Morse|
Emerging infectious diseases can be defined as infections that have newly appeared in a population or are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range. Many of these diseases are zoonoses, including such recent examples as avian influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome, haemolytic uraemic syndrome (a food-borne infection caused by certain strains of Escherichia coli) and probably human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Specific factors precipitating the emergence of a disease can often be identified. These include ecological, environmental or demographic factors that place people in increased contact with the natural host for a previously unfamiliar zoonotic agent or that promote the spread of the pathogen. These factors are becoming increasingly prevalent, suggesting that infections will continue to emerge and probably increase. Strategies for dealing with the problem include focusing special attention on situations that promote disease emergence, especially those in which animals and humans come into contact, and implementing effective disease surveillance and control.