U.S. Continues to Fight Infectious Disease
In 1900, infectious diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis (TB), and diarrhea accounted for almost half of all deaths in the United States. Since then, improvements in sanitation and the development of vaccines and medications like antibiotics have reduced deaths from infectious diseases dramatically. According to a report published recently in JAMA, infectious diseases were responsible for just 5.4 percent of deaths from 1980 to 2014.
However, the appearance of a new disease—HIV in 1981, West Nile virus in 1999, Zika virus in 2016, for example—can still pose a significant threat. Health officials must remain vigilant. The ability to learn about a disease and develop ways to fight it quickly continues to be vital in the fight against infectious diseases.
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