Predictions for the
Field of Infectious Diseases for 2015
John G. Bartlett, MD January
Predictions in this field are particularly dangerous, on the
basis of a history that is dense with surprises in nearly all facets of the
discipline. For example, Ebola was most everyone's choice for medical story of
the year for 2014, but this infection was barely on the radar screen 1 year
The influenza vaccine recommended for the current epidemic
was created for the anticipated H1N1 strain, but the influenza now causing
widespread disease is largely the H3N2 strain.
We tend to ignore things we cannot see but we do this at our peril! For instance, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is now recognised as a critical health issue by the World Health Organisation. Primarily the concern of hospitals, resistant bacterial pathogens are now seen with increasing frequency in the community.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has appointedProf John Turnidgeto lead a program for national surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance and antibiotic usage.
Did you know that nearly 200 million doses of antibiotics are administered in hospitals to patients and among non-hospitalized patients, more than 130 million courses of antibiotics are prescribed by doctors each year? It is estimated that half of these latter prescriptions are unnecessary since they are being prescribed for colds, coughs and other viral infections*.
In cough and cold season please think CAREFULLY about your antibiotic use!
*NB: taken from the American College of Physicians website, Ref:
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. and 26 other countries began a new effort to prevent and fight outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases before they spread around the globe.
U.S. health officials called the Global Health Security Agenda a priority because too many countries lack the health infrastructure necessary to spot a new infection rapidly and sound the alarm before it has time to gain a foothold and even spread into other countries.
Germs "do not recognize or stop at national borders," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday as representatives from participating countries, the World Health Organization and other groups met to discuss plans.