About Our Name

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

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.

Young girl with long hair in a purple sweater holding a black and white spotted chicken.