Emerging Infections and Biodefense
Why do scientists and public health officials become so concerned about outbreaks of flu, such as the recently emergent bird (H5N1) and swine (H1N1) flus? 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, created by experts in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, is designed to answer these and other questions.
Here you will find general information about infectious diseases, emerging infectious diseases and potential bioterrorism agents. You will learn what emerging infectious diseases are, how they arise, and why they are of concern. Experts will describe specific infectious agents that are responsible for these illnesses. You will also learn about the research being conducted within the department on agents that cause these diseases or that could potentially be used for bioterrorism.
This site will continue to be expanded and updated, so check back for new information.