, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 83-87
Date: 21 Apr 2011

Contemporary Perspectives on Risk Perceptions, Health-Protective Behaviors, and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases

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Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases present a significant and growing threat to human health within individual countries and globally [14]. Of some concern are evolving or novel strains of infectious disease agents where human immunity may be limited including the highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1), subtypes of influenza A(H1N1) (associated with the deadly 1918 and the 2009–2010 pandemics), the virus responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome, and multidrug-resistant bacterial strains [1, 2, 5, 6]. Local or widespread outbreaks, including influenza pandemics, are largely unpredictable and periodically emerge with a potential for extreme public health, economic, and social consequences [2, 3, 69]. Importantly, human behavior plays a major role in the spread of infectious diseases [6, 10]. Public health strategies to reduce an outbreak’s impact rely heavily on prompting timely individual actions, including decisions about vaccines and other health-protective beha