For several weeks now, world health agencies and media outlets have been informing the public about the risks and spread of the coronavirus — 2019-nCoV — first discovered in late December in China’s Hubei Province.
Solving the climate crisis. Stopping infectious diseases. Preparing for epidemics. Training health workers. These issues and more make up the World Health Organization’s (WHO) newly issued 13 global health challenges which we face in the next decade.
The good news: Major infectious diseases such as HIV and malaria are less likely to shorten or take people’s lives today due to medical and healthcare advances. The bad news: Less prominent, “second-tier” diseases such as polio and dengue are on the rise — even though they are easily preventable.
On January 21, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a list of ten threats (see sidebar) impacting global health, which WHO and its partners will focus on in 2019. According to WHO, “The world is facing multiple health challenges. These range from outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and diphtheria, increasing reports of drug-resistant pathogens, growing rates of obesity and physical inactivity to the health impacts of environmental pollution and climate change and multiple humanitarian crises.”
Spring is here. The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing — and the insects are spreading infections at an alarming pace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that infectious diseases from mosquito, tick and flea bites more than tripled in the United States from 2004 to 2016.