Emerging Infectious Diseases are those diseases that occur due to infections by several biotic and abiotic factors and have emerged at a greater rate in the past 20 years. These diseases have the tendency to emerge in later years at increased rate. There are various factors which are responsible for the occurrence of these diseases. This includes climatic factors, microbial adaptation, war, bioterrorism, natural calamities, etc.
The 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border is one of the world’s busiest international boundaries. An estimated 320 million people cross the northbound border legally every year. The U.S.-Mexico border is a unique region where the geopolitical boundary does not inhibit social and economic interactions nor the transmission of infectious diseases among residents on each side of the border. Some border cities (such as El Paso and Ciudad Juarez) are separated by a short distance and serve as one large metropolitan area for the local community. From an epidemiologic perspective, the border population must be considered as one, rather than different populations on two sides of a border; pathogens do not recognize the geopolitical boundaries established by human beings. During 1993–1997, the U.S. border population grew by 1.8% annually, more than double the national U.S. average of 0.8%, while the Mexican border population has grown by 4.3% per year, almost three times the national Mexican annual growth rate of 1.6%. Population growth has been spurred by increased economic opportunities after the North American Free Trade Agreement was implemented in 1994. Currently, an estimated 3,300 maquilas, employing >1 million workers, are located along the border.
According to Infectious Diseases monthly summary report during September and October, a total of 20 confirmed cases of the occurrence of these diseases have been reported. These diseases can be treated by using antibodies that can act against the viral antigens. Further, these can also be treated through vaccines and other drugs, depending on the type of infection.
The Imperial College of London has taken an initiative to work on these diseases in a deeper way. The Centre maintains an active research programme in emerging infectious diseases, funded by the European Union and NIH.