WHO publishes list of emerging diseases likely to cause major epidemics

Researchers and public health experts at a World Health Organization meeting in Geneva this week outlined eight emerging diseases that are likely to spur major epidemics in the coming year. These eight make up a priority list that requires immediate attention, including research and development to stem potential outbreaks, according to WHO.

The list comprises:
• Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever
• Ebola virus disease
• Marbug
• Lassa fever
• MERS
• SARS
• Nipah
• Rift Valley Fever

Beyond these critical eight, the WHO designated three more as "serious", requiring action as soon as possible:
• chikungunya
• thrombocytopaenia syndrome
• Zika

The WHO's latest Blueprint initiative, developed in conjunction with the emerging diseases list, will focus on accelerating that research and development in diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics to avert the possibility of epidemics. Developing behavioral interventions and filling gaps in scientific knowledge are also a component of Blueprint.

More articles on infection control: 

8 tips on how the US can better prepare for outbreaks
'Story is not over' for US Ebola survivors still suffering lingering health problems, report finds
28 states ill-prepared for infectious disease outbreak, report finds

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