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NIH scientists reflect on gains in emerging infectious disease awareness, research and response

In a new essay, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and David Morens, M.D., reflect on what has been learned about emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in the two decades since a major report from the U.S. Institute of Medicine rekindled interest in this important topic.

Heightened awareness of EIDs is itself a countermeasure against disease, note the authors. The emergence of new diseases can now be monitored in real time online through Internet resources such as ProMED. In 2012 alone, such resources kept the scientific community and the public informed about the emergence in the Middle East of a novel disease-causing coronavirus; occurrences of illness at Yosemite National Park caused by a hantavirus; and the emergence in U.S. farm communities of a variant influenza virus (H3N2v) that spread from swine to people.
 
 

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