10 Global Health Threats in 2019

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a 5-year strategic plan to ensure 1 billion more people worldwide benefit from access to universal health coverage, are protected from health emergencies, and enjoy better health and well-being. To achieve these goals, the agency identified 10 health-related issues to be addressed globally:

  1. Air pollution and climate change
  2. Noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease
  3. Influenza pandemic
  4. Vulnerable populations (people living in areas facing drought, famine, or conflict, for example)
  5. Antimicrobial resistance
  6. High-threat pathogens like Ebola
  7. Inadequate health care
  8. Vaccine hesitancy (anti-vaccination efforts)
  9. Dengue (serious mosquito-borne illness)
  10. HIV

According to the WHO, the reluctance or refusal of people to vaccinate despite vaccine availability — called vaccine hesitancy — threatens to impede and even reverse progress made against vaccine-preventable diseases like measles. Cases of measles have increased 30 percent worldwide and some countries, including the United States, have seen a resurgence.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the 349 confirmed cases of measles in 26 states and the District of Columbia in 2018 is the second-highest number since the disease was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. Since January 1, 2019, at least 23 people have been infected in a measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest and outbreaks have also been reported in New York and New Jersey.

Sourced from: World Health Organization and CDC