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APHA's Control of Communicable Diseases Manual updated, revised; 19th edition features new flu chapter.

DESPITE landmark technological advances that can help people live longer and healthier lives, communicable diseases are still a formidable foe for the health professionals around the globe who struggle to track and contain them.

Today, approximately 46 percent of all deaths in low-income countries are due to communicable diseases, and the entire world is at risk for unexpected communicable diseases, according to the 19th edition of APHA's renowned "Control of Communicable Diseases Manual."


Climate change and bioterrorism have raised the threat of new and re-emerging infectious diseases, but with the threat comes opportunities for the global community to join together to mitigate the risk, according to the updated and expanded text that has served as a health community staple for 90 years.

According to editor David L. Heymann, MD, who also edited the previous edition, the 19th edition incorporates the same "tried and tested" structure as previous editions and is "applicable in all countries and on all continents."

The 19th edition includes new information on the control of communicable diseases that is not available from any other source, Heymann said. New disease variants are included, and some chapters have been entirely reworked.

"We are hoping that this edition ... will be even more applicable to the needs of developing countries," he said, noting that the chapter on influenza includes sections on seasonal influenza and human flu of avian or animal origin.

The updated edition includes 11 new chapters on topics fundamental to a global public health landscape, including risk management, public health security in a globalized world, the World Health Organization's 2005 International Health Regulations, reporting of communicable diseases, outbreak response in bioterrorism, communicable disease control in humanitarian emergencies and handling of infectious materials. Other new chapters offer guidance on disease control at mass gatherings, after natural disasters or in emergency situations.

Heymann said most communicable diseases occur from six infectious processes: diarrheal diseases, respiratory infections, malaria and measles among children, AIDS and tuberculosis among adults. But there is also a broad range of disability-causing communicable diseases that include polio, leprosy and Guinea worm, he said.

"For many of these communicable diseases, science has given us vaccines and anti-infective drugs that help keep them under control," he said. "But anti-infective drugs are rapidly losing their effectiveness as resistance continues to develop, and vaccine development has lagged for many. Internationally accepted prevention and treatment strategies for all these diseases are presented in (this book)."

Associate editor Mark Nunn said the 19th edition takes a more "globally relevant perspective" on communicable diseases.

"We tried to have someone from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and someone from the World Health Organization review the chapters independently, with the idea of making the text more globally relevant to people using it anywhere in the world," Nunn said.

To buy the book, visit or call 888-320-2742. Softcover prices are $25 for members and $35 for others. Hardcover copies are $32 for members and $45 for nonmembers.
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Author:Johnson, Teddi Dineley
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Nov 1, 2008
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