Infectious Disease: Evolving Challenges to Human Health


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What Does the Most Good?

In the United States, improvements in basic infrastructure such as clean water, good sanitation practices and nutrition dramatically improved public health in the early part of the century. The widespread use of vaccines and introduction of antibiotics continued to lower the burden of infectious disease. Such improvements are necessary for social and economic development. Significant problems persist in many parts of the world.

Continuing Needs

Today, more than one billion people worldwide still lack access to clean water and 2.6 billion lack access to basic sanitation. Developed nations, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations, such as the United Nations, are working to improve education and sustainable infrastructure. Sanitation and clean water systems will require ongoing investments as the human population continues to grow. Expanding water and waste systems needs can stress local environments and spread pathogenic viruses, bacteria and parasites.

The Impact of Public Health

Explore the impact of public health measures, such as clean water, on the distribution of disease at the Koshland Science Museum.

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