Infectious diseases are still important
Infectious diseases are still important. As a specialist subject, it was being wound down, but in the last few decades several new infectious diseases have been identified – Lyme disease and Whipple’s disease, for example. And several old diseases have been found to have an infectious cause.
Tuberculosis is on the rise again. Tropical diseases are regularly imported into the UK. The anti-vaccination movement threatens to cause the return of old killers, like whooping cough and diphtheria, which have reappeared in the former Soviet Union. Crohn’s disease may be due to a mycobacterial infection, and cryptogenic cirrhosis may be due to unidentified hepatitides.
Janice Rumbold, UK
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