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Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research.

Yanagihara R, Nerurkar VR, Hui G, Jacobs GA.

Citation

Yanagihara R, Nerurkar VR, Hui G, Jacobs GA. (2017) Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research. Hawaii Journal of Medicine and Public Health 76:23-26.


Abstract

New, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are among the most urgent public health threats and economic challenges facing global communities in the new millennium. Recent examples of outbreaks include the emergence and rapid spread of Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone; Middle East respiratory syndrome in Saudia Arabia and Korea; avian influenza in Vietnam; polio in Pakistan; and the currently burgeoning epidemic of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection and associated microcephaly and other congenital neurological abnormalities in Brazil, and elsewhere in South America, with autochthonous ZIKV transmission in Puerto Rico and Florida, and a recent travel-associated microcephaly case in Hawaiʻi. Also, in the State of Hawaiʻi, on Hawaiʻi Island, the largest outbreak of dengue fever was recorded since 1943, with 264 confirmed cases occurring between September 11, 2015 and March 30, 2016.

Thus, the past half-century has witnessed the emergence of previously unrecognized infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, severe acute respiratory syndrome and severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome, and the resurgence of once-conquered diseases, such as tuberculosis and poliomyelitis, so that today, infectious diseases have regained their prominent position as one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Among the myriad factors responsible for the alarming worldwide resurgence of infectious diseases are the unprecedented population growth with uncontrolled urbanization, the rapid movements of people, animals (and their endo- and ecto-parasites) and commodities via jumbo jets and high-speed trains, the insidious breakdown of public health infrastructure, and the misplaced emphasis on curative rather than preventive medicine.


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