CFID works with strategic partners and supporters to hasten
the discovery of innovative solutions to better understand,
diagnose, prevent, control and treat existing and
emerging infectious diseases that threaten our good health.

Recognizing Realities

Once believed to be almost eliminated as a health risk, infectious diseases remain the leading cause of death worldwide. Ranging from childhood ear infections and measles to flesh eating diseases and sexually transmitted illnesses, infectious diseases affect us all. Over 18 million people died from the influenza pandemic of 1918 and more than 20 million people have already died from AIDS.

The World Health Organization reports that at least 30 new diseases have been scientifically recognized around the world in the last 20 years. Diseases such as SARS, Ebola, cryptosporidiosis and HIV are emerging without warning -- and some without cures. At the same time, diseases considered to be part of our past such as tuberculosis, cholera, and diphtheria are making a comeback.

Collectively, infectious diseases account for 25% of all annual physician visits. The total cost of treatment and lost productivity associated with infectious diseases in Canada is estimated to exceed $12 billion each year. Antibiotics are the second most frequently prescribed class of drugs -- second only to pain relievers.