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Kenrad E. Nelson

In: Guide to U.S. Health and Health Care Policy

Chapter 27: Continuing Challenges of Infectious Disease (1980s–Present)

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Continuing Challenges of Infectious Disease (1980s–Present)
Continuing challenges of infectious disease (1980s–present)
Kenrad E.Nelson

In 1980, public health professionals were optimistic that the major infectious diseases that had been responsible for serious morbidity and mortality in the Unites States had been controlled. The important contagious diseases of infants and young children, including diphtheria, pertussis, measles, and polio, had been controlled with effective vaccines. Many potentially serious bacterial infections that caused gastrointestinal infections, sepsis, or bacterial meningitis could be effectively treated with an array of antibiotics. Even though treatment sometimes failed because it was ineffective or the infecting bacteria were resistant to the drug, treatment was usually helpful.

Emergence of New Infectious Diseases

The early successes in controlling infectious diseases had prompted the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. William Stewart (in ...

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