Geography, ecology and emerging infectious diseases

Soc Sci Med. 2000 Apr;50(7-8):937-52. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(99)00346-9.


Emerging infectious diseases are the focus of increased attention and even alarm in the scholarly and popular literature. The emergence of new diseases and the resurgence of older and previously recognized infectious diseases both in developing and developed country poses challenges for understanding the ecological web of causation, including social, economic, environmental and biological components. This paper is a synthesis of the major characteristics of emerging diseases, in an interdisciplinary context. Political ecology is one framework for analysis that is promising in developing a modified ecology of disease.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Communicable Diseases / drug therapy
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Ecology*
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Geography*
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Lyme Disease / transmission
  • Politics
  • Transportation
  • Travel
  • Tuberculosis, Multidrug-Resistant / drug therapy
  • Urbanization