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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: August 2011

6 - Emerging Infectious Diseases: Concepts in Preparing for and Responding to the Next Microbial Threat



Factors such as increased global commerce and travel, and the threat of the intentional release of pathogens have set the stage for infectious disease disasters with large numbers of casualties. This chapter addresses the concepts and tools necessary to prepare better for and respond to infectious diseases disasters in general. Surveillance is an assessment tool for the general functioning of a public health system. Practice exercises and past disasters have demonstrated that the response and mitigation effort is improved by good working relationships between public health, public safety, and healthcare workers. Many aspects of successful management of an infectious disease disaster are dependent on timely and accurate communications between different stakeholders. The multidisciplinary focus of effort toward the fields of infectious diseases biology and epidemiology is a nascent application that holds promise for the future of both infectious diseases and disaster medicine.

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