Timeline: Disease Chronicles

A look at the recent human history behind emerging infectious diseases and their global threat.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases National Center
This branch of the CDC was opened in 2007 in response to growing recognition of the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to zoonotic diseases.  According to the CDC, 75 percent of new infectious diseases have an animal origin.

The Global Health Initiative
In May, President Obama announced a new health initiative that would provide $63 billion over six years for AIDS, malaria and other global health priorities. The president’s health adviser Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel said the focus was "not to just attack disease by disease but to now begin to think more holistically across many diseases and across the sort of underlying causes of these diseases and to build infrastructure." 

Conservation Through Public Health
Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka started this organization after realizing that the greatest threat to the rare mountain gorilla was the poor health of the people living nearby. It is dedicated to monitoring and treating disease in humans, livestock and wildlife simultaneously.

Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society pioneered the term “One World, One Health,” and has been a leader in the movement to address diseases at the human-animal interface. They conduct disease surveillance and investigation around the globe.

Global Avian Influenza Network for Surveillance
This mapping system and database is compiled from disease surveillance started in 2006, with the goal of creating an early warning system for the global spread of bird flu.

SOURCES: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; The Wildlife Conservation Society; Disease Control Priorities Project: Environmental Health Project; Population Action International; The Wildlife Trust; World Conservation Union Veterinary Specialist Group; U.S. National Intelligence Council’s 2020 project Mapping the Global Future; Foreign Policy magazine; The New York Times; McClatchy Newspapers; World Health Organization; National Library of Medicine; Harvard University’s Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics. Interviews with Dr. Ali Khan and Dr. William Karesh