The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Effectiveness of National Biosurveillance Systems: BioWatch and the Public Health System—Interim Report (2009)

For many years, concerns about bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases have drawn attention to the need for strong surveillance systems. Experts are working to develop new and better ways to detect these biological threats as quickly as possible. One effort in this area is the Department of Homeland Security's BioWatch program.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the BioWatch program, the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council convened the Committee on Effectiveness of National Biosurveillance Systems: BioWatch and the Public Health System. This interim report contains no findings or recommendations but outlines the committee's initial progress.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

What fraction of all deaths worldwide are caused by infectious disease?

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    About one quarter of all deaths worldwide are caused by infectious disease. More than two-thirds of the deaths in children under the age of five are caused by infectious disease.

  • Correct!

    About one quarter of all deaths worldwide are caused by infectious disease. More than two-thirds of the deaths in children under the age of five are caused by infectious disease.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    About one quarter of all deaths worldwide are caused by infectious disease. More than two-thirds of the deaths in children under the age of five are caused by infectious disease.