Emerging and Reemerging Infection Threats to Society
Department of Virology 1, National Institute of Infectious Diseases
1-23-1 Toyama Shinjuku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan
In societies where infectious disease outbreak potential is steadily rising, the heavy burden on society may adversely influence health status, social activities, and the economy. Influenza pandemics, for instance, threaten society internationally, while infectious outbreaks such as food-borne problems are usually limited to local or domestic levels. Risk factors in infectious outbreaks include destruction of the natural environment, increased international trade and travel, economic activity, lifestyle changes, medical practice, political instability including terrorist activity, and natural disasters. Recent emerging and reemerging infection did not originate naturally and spontaneously, but occurred through the above risk factors. Infectious outbreaks have increased in both size and frequency over those in the past. Risk factors for large-scale infectious emergence and reemergence threatening society should be scientifically analyzed and measures implemented in advance whenever possible.
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