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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

Reemerging Pathogens and Diseases Out of Control


Lancet--Supplement (06/97) Vol. 349, P. SIII8

The emergence and reemergence of infectious disease in the past 20 years can be attributed to several factors, including urbanization, population growth, increased travel, and poverty. A recent study of a monkeypox outbreak in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), indicates that the disease has become much more risky to humans, possibly because the smallpox vaccine, which also guards against human monkeypox, has not been used in the country for 17 years, since the worldwide elimination of smallpox. The issue is complex, due to the emergence of HIV and a 1984 fatal vaccinia infection in an HIV-positive adult who received the vaccine. Additional research is needed to determine whether regional vaccinia vaccination programs should be launched, given that the prevalence of HIV is up to 7 percent and the case fatality rate in human monkeypox can reach 20 percent. Worldwide, other emerging and reemerging diseases include Ebola, legionellosis, hepatitis C, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob. Failure to vaccinate has resulted in diphtheria and poliomyelitis epidemics in eastern Europe and yellow fever outbreaks in Latin America and sub- Saharan Africa, while human behavior helped gonorrhea and syphilis to reappear in the late 1970s. Antibiotic resistance has also aided the spread of disease, as overprescribing, unregulated sales, and poor compliance boost the development of resistant viral strains.


Copyright © 1997 -CDC Prevention News Update, Publisher. All rights reserved to Information, Inc., Bethesda, MD. The CDC National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention provides the following information as a public service only. Providing synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis does not constitute CDC endorsement. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases and announcements. Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update should be cited as the source of the information. Contact the sources of the articles abstracted below for full texts of the articles.

Information in this article was accurate in July 3, 1997. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.