The pendulum is swinging back to infectious disease prevention/control. During the past 40 years the emergence of diseases, against which we have neither vaccine to prevent nor medications to treat or eradicate, seems to be increasing – hantavirus, HIV, novel influenzas, SARS, MERS-CoV, Ebola, and now Zika. Congress has failed to pass appropriations for Zika control and ongoing vaccine development efforts,
Disease prevention and control becomes tenuous as we follow the path of unstable funding. We have seen programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention impacted by budget cuts and inadequate or delayed funding, especially for emergent problems. The drain to resources posed by emerging infectious diseases will be debilitating if we are not prepared.
It is said that public health successes are invisible, only failures are newsworthy. Forestalling epidemics and preventing novel diseases are the new old challenge. Can we afford failure?