Deaths due to infectious diseases increased 58 percent in the United States from 1982 to 1992. Infectious diseases now rank third in the leading causes of death in the United States. They remain the leading cause of death worldwide. In parallel with an increase in disease due to infectious agents, the United States is experiencing an unprecedented increase in resistance to commonly used antibiotics. Thus, there is an urgent need for the United States to increase its investment in research related to improved diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. The Office of Public Affairs published this booklet to communicate with policy makers and the general public about the threat of new and reemerging infectious diseases and the role of research supported by the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
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