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BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Molecular Virology and Microbiology

Emerging Infections and Biodefense

What is the risk to people from newly emergent viruses such as Ebola, MERS or chikungunya? Why do scientists and public health officials become so concerned about outbreaks of new versions of familiar viruses such as flu strains H5N1 or H1N1? What is a pandemic and what causes one to occur? How do new infectious diseases arise? Why are some infectious diseases, that have been eliminated or brought under control, still regarded as threats to human health? What are the characteristics of certain viruses and bacteria that cause them to be considered bioterrorism risks? 

This special section provides a general overview of what emerging infectious diseases are, how they arise, and why they are of concern. It further describes specific infectious agents, discusses why each is considered a problem, and presents research that is being conducted within the department on agents that cause emerging infectious diseases, or that could potentially be used for bioterrorism.

General Overview

Current Status of the Field
Infectious Diseases
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Potential Bioterrorism Agents

Specific Agents

Anthrax 
Chikungunya
Dengue
Ebola
HIV/AIDS
HTLV
Influenza
MRSA
Norovirus
SARS and MERS
Smallpox
Tuberculosis
Tularemia