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Emerging diseases are infections that have increased recently or are threatening to increase in the near future. These infections could be
- newly discovered (like the sometimes deadly Bourbon virus that was identified in 2014 in Bourbon County, Kansas).
- completely new to an area (like Zika virus in the Western Hemisphere).
- reappearing in an area (like dengue in south Florida, Texas, and Hawaii).
- caused by bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics, like the so-called “nightmare bacteria” CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae).
Zoonotic means infectious diseases spread between animals, insects, ticks, and people. Examples include
- Lyme disease (spread by ticks)
- Salmonella infections (spread by poultry and other animals)
- rabies (spread by mammals)
Infectious diseases are illnesses caused by germs (such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that enter the body, multiply, and cause an infection.
- Some infectious diseases are contagious, that is, spread from one person to another.
- Other infectious diseases can be spread by germs carried in air, water, food, or soil. They can also be spread by insects, ticks, or animals.
- Page last reviewed: July 20, 2017
- Page last updated: July 20, 2017
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