Despite a century of often successful prevention and control efforts, infectious diseases remain an important global problem in public health, causing over 13 million deaths each year. Changes in society, technology and the microorganisms themselves are contributing to the emergence of new diseases, the re-emergence of diseases once controlled, and to the development of antimicrobial resistance. Two areas of special concern in the twenty-first century are food-borne disease and antimicrobial resistance. The effective control of infectious diseases in the new millennium will require effective public health infrastructures that will rapidly recognize and respond to them and will prevent emerging problems.
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