The prevention and control of infectious disease is essential to achieving a healthy population. One of the principal public health activities of the 20th century has been a significant reduction in the incidence of selected infectious diseases. The development and widespread use of childhood vaccines have also had a significant impact on the reduction of infectious diseases.
Despite these successes, infectious diseases continue to pose an important public health problem. Today, the issue of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases is at the forefront of public health concern. A number of newly recognized diseases, including West Nile Virus, Legionnaires’ disease, toxic shock syndrome, Lyme disease, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, hantavirus, and new foodborne infections have been well documented, as has the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. Many infectious diseases, which threaten the health of the general population, are preventable and controllable. The prevention of infectious diseases requires multidisciplinary interventions involving public health professionals, medical practitioners, researchers, community-based organizations, volunteer and private groups, industrial representatives, and educational systems.