JUN 08, 2016 11:00 AM PDT

Emerging infectious diseases - back to the future



An emerging infectious disease or re-emerging infectious disease is defined by WHO as “one that has appeared in a population for the first time, or that may have existed previously but is rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range.” A 2003 IOM report identified several factors that have contributed to the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases. Healthcare has seen many examples of emerging infectious in the past few decades and each outbreak has presented new lessons for dealing with future outbreaks.  In addition, the microbiology laboratory is challenged to serve as both sentinels for the disease activity as well as resources for testing and diagnostic information, and there are lessons to be learned here as well. This presentation will highlight several recent situations involving emerging infectious diseases, discuss the key contributing factors, identify lessons learned for the future, and describe the critical role of the laboratory in outbreak response.
Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe factors that contribute to emerging infectious diseases, and provide examples of infections related to those factors.
  2. Describe the role of the microbiology laboratory in recognition and diagnosis of emerging infectious diseases.

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