Drivers of emerging and re-emerging diseases

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Emerging and re-emerging diseases (ERDs), particularly those that affect people, fascinate professionals and the general public alike when they occur, giving rise to intense curiosity about their origin and fear ‒ panic sometimes ‒ that a ‘new’ epidemic will impact on large numbers of people with gruesome consequences. Such diseases are, however, only a subset of a wider array ERDs that affect plants and animals of all kinds. In the medical and veterinary worlds infections considered to be emerging or re-emerging differ but a number of zoonoses are common to both groups.

What is sought is the ability to predict the occurrence of ERDs and thereby possibly prevent their occurrence. However, to do that it is essential to understand what circumstances predispose to the occurrence of ERDs. This module therefore summarises what is broadly understood about the complexity and interrelationships between ‘drivers’ of ERDs.

License Condition: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0  
Education Level: 
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Academic Year: 

Prof Gavin Thomson

  • BVSc (Pretoria), MSc (Birmingham,UK), PhD (London)
  • Extraordinary professor, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Director: TAD Scientific c.c.