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August 7, 1996

Infectious Disease—A Threat to Global Health and Security

Author Affiliations

From Rockefeller University, New York, NY, where Dr Lederberg is the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation Scholar.

JAMA. 1996;276(5):417-419. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540050077028

Two months ago the White House adopted a new national public health policy for dealing with ominous threats of emerging and reemerging infections. The policy was based on a report called Infectious Disease—A Global Health Threat, released in September 1995.1 The policy was initiated by the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) and is known as NSTC-7.

The threats posed by infectious disease have engaged public concern via the media, the cinema, and many serious books and advisory pronouncements during the last several years,2-6 as well as a new journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases, published quarterly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).7 The January 17,1996, issue of JAMA was a theme issue on the same topic, in cooperation with 35 other medical journals around the world.8

Last month's headline was BSE (bovine spongiform encephalitis). As we go to press, this month belongs to Cyclospora

National Science and Technology Council, Committee on International Science, Engineering, and Technology Working Group on Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases. Infectious Disease—A Global Health Threat. Washington, DC: National Science and Technology Council; September 1995. For further information, visit the World Wide Web site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/White—House/EOP/ OSTP/CISET/html/ciset.html
Garrett L. The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance . New York, NY: Farrar Straus & Giroux; 1994.
Lederberg J, Shope RE, Oaks SC, eds. Emerging Infections: Microbial Threats to Health in the United States . Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1992.
Wilson ME, Levins R, Spielman A, eds.  Disease in evolution: global changes and emergence of infectious diseases . Ann N Y Acad Sci . (December 15) ,1994;740:1-503.Article
Murphy FA.  New, emerging, and reemerging infectious diseases . Adv Virus Res . 1994;43:1-52.
Morse SS, ed. Emerging Viruses . New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 1993.
Emerging Infectious Diseases. (E-mail: eidhelp@cidodl.em.cdc.gov or visit: http: //www.cdc.gov).
Winker MA, Flanagin A.  Infectious diseases: a global approach to a global problem . JAMA . 1996;275:245-246.Article
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Outbreaks of Cyclospora cayetanensis—United States, 1996 . MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep . 1996;45:549-551.
Lederberg J.  Infection emergent . JAMA . 1996;275:243-245.Article
Tomasz A.  Multiple-antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria: a report on the Rockefeller University Workshop . N Engl J Med . 1994;330:1247-1251.Article