Infectious diseases cause significant burden in the US

July 2, 2014

Infectious diseases remain major public health challenges in the United States, according to a new report published in The Lancet as part of a new Series, The health of Americans.

Endemic conditions such as chronic viral hepatitis, , and other continue to affect millions of individuals, with racial and ethnic minorities disproportionately affected. Emerging and re-emerging vector borne and zoonotic disease infections are threatening new areas and populations, as most recently observed with Chikungunya.

Despite major prevention gains, cases and outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases persist, due to factors such as disease importation, parental decisions to withhold or delay vaccination, and waning vaccine-induced immunity. In 2014, US outbreaks of measles, largely associated with travel, have resulted in the largest number of cases since the disease was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000. Other priority areas for new prevention strategies include foodborne diseases and healthcare-associated infections.

Antimicrobial resistance is a global health crisis, demanding new approaches and collaborations for prevention and control. Improved pathogen understanding afforded by genomic testing and other technologies, along with increased recognition of the importance and role of the human microbiome, are offering new opportunities to reduce .

Explore further: Emerging vector-borne diseases create new public health challenge

More information: www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)60890-4/abstract

Related Stories

Measles outbreaks underscore need for vaccination

June 16, 2014

With the number of measles cases in the United States hitting a 20-year high, pediatric infectious disease specialist Christina Hermos, MD, is frustrated by the "anti-science" movement against vaccination that underlies the ...

Recommended for you

Team makes Zika drug breakthrough

August 29, 2016

A team of researchers from Florida State University, Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health has found existing drug compounds that can both stop Zika from replicating in the body and from damaging ...

Zika virus may persist in the vagina days after infection

August 25, 2016

The Zika virus reproduces in the vaginal tissue of pregnant mice several days after infection, according to a study by Yale researchers. From the genitals, the virus spreads and infects the fetal brain, impairing fetal development. ...

In sub-Saharan Africa, cancer can be an infectious disease

August 26, 2016

In 1963, Irish surgeon Denis Parson Burkitt airmailed samples of an unusual jaw tumor found in Ugandan children to his colleague, Anthony Epstein, at Middlesex Hospital in London. Epstein, an expert in chicken viruses and ...

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Returners
1 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2014
Despite major prevention gains, cases and outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases persist, due to factors such as disease importation, parental decisions to withhold or delay vaccination, and waning vaccine-induced immunity.


Constitutional solution:

Make a tax law so parents who don't vaccinate their children with the reccomended (or needed) vaccines lose a portion of their child's standard deduction and child tax credits on their tax return. Since they are not taking proper care of them, they should not get deductions and credits intended to off-set the cost of living.

Monies saved by this tax code would go into the federal social security and medicare funds, as well as a new fund intended to pay a small credit or deduction for low income families who nevertheless do get their children vaccinated.

Some things I think should be required, not just recommended:

Meningococci
HPV (boys and girls)
Streptococci Pnuemonia (yes)
Flu Shot (once every 3 years)**
Returners
1 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2014
All of the standard panel of vaccines.

The reason I put once every 3 years on Flu shots is because it supposedly only takes 1 in 3 persons to effect a large degree of protection against the seasonal Flu, so we should make 1 in 3 years required, especially for age-appropriate children.

Which is to say, we may penalize their standard deduction or credit if they don't get it once every three years, but in the case of the Flu, they'd only qualify for the bonus credit in years exceeding the 1 in 3 years requirement. That way you encourage everyone to get it more often than the minimum, and monetarily punish them for not getting it.

If someone isn't going to spend "cost of living" offset money on improving their families health and living, though prevention, then the Government should be able to take away those offsets and give the money to other people who will use that money for preventive healthcare, particularly regarding infectious disease.
Returners
1 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2014
The reason I take this position is that it makes no sense for the Government or insurance companies to pay the COST of "treating" these diseases, when the PRICE of preventing them is so much lower...

Diabetes?
Same thing. Pop a 10% federal VAT tax on all sugary drinks with more than 17g sugar per 8 ounce serving. Money should go to the Medicare, Social Security, or other medical programs, especially those targeted to young people and young adults, in this case, because we want to encourage good behavior and habits in young people and young adults.

Apply a 10% penalty to Standard Deductions (all family members) and Child Tax credits (for fat kids) for families with OBESE members (except where Cushings or something similar is diagnosed as a medical cause). Neither reward nor penalize those in the "overweight" category. Those who are "healthy" would receive a 10% bonus on their credit or deduction. You can't qualify for a bonus if 1 or more Adult family members is OBESE.
Returners
1 / 5 (2) Jul 02, 2014
Alternatively, you could give no reward to healthy people. You don't get rewarded for doing what you're supposed to argument, you get rewarded for going beyond requirements. In this scenario, they'd then penalize "over-weight, but not obese" people, such as myself, at 5%, instead of 10%.

However, an "overweight" adult would not penalize the entire family, since it's a lot harder to go from "overweight" to "healthy" due to weight loss plateaus, than to go from "mildly obese" back to "overweight". I should know.

I fixed the "mildly obese" problem by changing absolutely nothing except replacing sodas (root beer) with Hawaiian Punch, with has 1/3rd to 1/2 the sugar content per serving.

Like I said, don't "ban" sugary drinks. Just tax them, with a Federal VAT. If the Federal Government is paying the penalty for these things, they should be legally able to discourage and prevent some sales through taxes, without a full ban.

Then, penny pinchers would opt for the healthier choice anyway.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.