It is with great pleasure that we invite you to explore the second volume of the Allegheny Health Sciences Journal. This issue’s focus was on Infectious diseases. The World Health Organization reports infectious diseases kill more than 17 million people a year. 30 new diseases have emerged in the last 20 years. Headline making outbreaks of viruses like Ebola as well as common hospital-acquired infections like sepsis are killing people before their time. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control shows a three-fold increase in the number of diseases from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas like West Nile, Zika, Malaria and Lyme disease from 2004 to 2016.
The ease of world travel adds a layer of complexity when it comes to tackling infectious diseases. A health crisis on the other side of the globe is just a plane ride away. For many of these diseases, there is no treatment, cure, or vaccine. In January 1996, Ebola, a deadly virus then barely known to humans, unexpectedly spilled out of the forest in a wave of small epidemics. The disease killed 21 of 37 villagers who were reported to have been infected, including a number who had carried, skinned, chopped or eaten a chimpanzee from the nearby forest. Then came the Coronavirus. An infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province, and has since spread globally, resulting in the ongoing 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. First confirmed case of what was then an unknown coronavirus was traced back to November 2019 in Hubei province. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, sore throat, loss of smell, and abdominal pain.
The commentaries in this issue highlight the importance of investment in further research on current and emerging infectious diseases. In addition, the reviews also cover other infectious diseases like Human papillomavirus and vaccinations. Findings illustrate the importance of such tools as education and information in changing perceptions and beliefs towards vaccines especially among the minority communities and the poor. The other two reviews illustrate the importance of technology in healthcare administration and management, and the importance of protecting the elderly especially in long-term care facilities in the United States respectively. The success of this issue would not have been possible without the talented, diverse, and dedicated AHSJ editorial team, the authors that allowed us to showcase their important work, the patrons that continue to support the AHSJ and, most importantly, you the reader. We hope that you will enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed preparing it.