“In an unchanging world, you don't see a lot of emerging disease,” epidemiologist William Karesh told Scientific American contributor Lois Parshley during her reporting for this special section, The Future of Medicine 2018. The world, of course, is changing fast. In the U.S., growing economic inequality is driving a resurgence of deadly hepatitis, Legionnaires' and other infections. Globally, climate change and unchecked urbanization are creating conditions in which diseases emerge faster and spread farther. As the six articles in this special report show, hope resides with interdisciplinary collaborations—epidemiologists, climatologists, ecologists, and others working together to solve medical problems with deep social roots.
This article was originally published with the title "Emerging Disease in a Changing World" in Scientific American 318, 5, 42-43 (May 2018)