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Emerging Global Infectious Diseases

2.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the characteristics of common EIDs and their effects on the health of global citizens.
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Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are an ever-present threat to the health and livelihood of individuals, families, communities, and countries all over the world. The greatest burden of EIDs lies in developing countries and among infants and children who are the most vulnerable to these infections and the long-term consequences of their presence.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the global impact of infectious diseases.
  • Describe the characteristics, methods of transmission, symptoms, treatment, and prevention strategies for Ebola virus disease.
  • Explain the characteristics, methods of transmission, symptoms, treatment, and prevention strategies for West Nile virus infection.
  • Describe the characteristics, methods of transmission, symptoms, treatment, and prevention strategies for malaria.
  • Discuss the characteristics, methods of transmission, symptoms, treatment, and prevention strategies for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) represent a global, ongoing threat to the health and livelihood of individuals and communities all over the world, including those in the United States. Despite remarkable progress in healthcare research and treatment during the 20th century, infectious diseases remain the leading cause of death worldwide, causing about 25% of the 57 million annual deaths. This number does not include the millions of deaths that occur as a result of past infections or because of complications from chronic infections. The burden is highest in developing countries, especially affecting infants and children. In developed countries, the mortality disproportionately affects indigenous and disadvantaged minorities (Kaiser Family Foundation [KFF], 2017).

Emerging infectious diseases are defined as “infections that have newly appeared in a population or have existed previously but are rapidly increasing in incidence of geographic range” (Morens, Folkers, & Fauci, 2004, p. 242). EIDs have shaped the course of human history and caused immeasurable misery and death. Originally called “loimos,” “pestilences,” and “plagues,” for centuries humans seemed to be helpless against these sudden epidemics and they struck fear and awe in those who witnessed their devastation (Morens, Folkers, & Fauci, 2004).

History of EIDs

“Outbreaks” today may consist of a few dozen to a few thousand sick or fatally ill individuals. This was not always the case. Throughout history, outbreaks have been so expansive and deadly they essentially changed the course of civilizations and history. Consider these few examples (KFF, 2017; Morens, Folkers, & Fauci, 2004; Oldstone, 2010; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation [RWJF], 2013):

  • The Antonine Plague—Named for Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, this smallpox epidemic occurred in 165 AD and lasted until 180 AD. An estimated 5 million people died in an outbreak believed to have begun in Seleucia (in modernday Iraq) and spread to Rome by soldiers who returned from the city’s siege. At the height of the epidemic, 2,000 Romans a day died from the disease. The emperor was among its victims.
  • The Plague of Justinian—In 541 AD, rats in Egyptian grain boats brought the first recorded case of bubonic plague to the modern world. Ultimately, 25 million people died. The Emperor of the Byzantine Empire—Justinian I, for whom the plague was named—contracted the disease and survived. At one point, scholars estimate that as many 5,000 people per day died in Constantinople, the Empire’s capital. At the end of the plague, 40% of the city’s population had perished.

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists
Course Expires:

September 28, 2021

  • Caroline Young, MPH
  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.