Advisor: Durland Fish
Due to reduced mortality from infectious diseases in the United States, American research has fallen behind in the ability to address these threats. With the emergence of diseases such as SARS and West Nile, scientists and public health professionals are recognizing the need to bolster our knowledge of these diseases and to alter our approach to reducing their morbidity. The 1960s led to a false sense that eradication of vectors and pathogens was possible and the primary way to promote health. This approach was successful at reducing vectors and vector-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria, and yellow fever.
However, the true fallacy of this approach became evident with the more recent development of resistance by vectors and pathogens and the subsequent resurgence of so called controlled diseases. As the scientific community realizes elimination of the pathogen or vector is not feasible, there is also the recognition that to coexist with vectors and pathogens is the only sustainable way to reduce infectious disease morbidity. Advanced technologies like remote sensing and geographical information systems facilitate this balance through advancing understanding of the ecology of the pathogen, vector, and host and their roles in health maintenance.