Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Zika and Ebola are just a few of the infectious diseases with increasing incidence in the past 20 years that have created headlines worldwide. In addition, major killers from the past such as tuberculosis have re-emerged because some strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis have developed resistance.
Growing populations are a major reason that infection can spread more easily. Populations are also ageing, adding to the number of people with potentially poorer health. This makes them more susceptible to disease and more likely to become sources of transmission.
Predicting and avoiding pandemics in the future requires focusing on research initiatives to understand these emerging and re-emerging pathogenic microorganisms.