CQ: Report: U.S. Ill-Equipped to Handle Impact of Infectious Diseases

October 30, 2008
by Emily Ethridge, CQ Staff
Congressional Quarterly

The United States is unprepared to address the impacts of new and re-emerging infectious diseases, a report from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) found. The country faces several possible threats, including bioterrorism, a resurgence of an old disease or a new, drug-resistant strain of disease.

At least 170,000 Americans die each year from new and re-emerging infectious diseases, the report found, and many more could die in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak or a bioterrorist attack. Infectious diseases are the leading cause of death for children under 5 worldwide, and are among the top killers for adults, said James Hughes, former director of the National Centers of Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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