The Impossible Goal of a Disease-Free World

May 10, 2024

Image of a globe

(Undark) – For centuries, people have dreamed of a world without disease. The myriad medical breakthroughs in the 20th century — which included antibiotics and modern vaccines — made that utopian ideal feel tantalizingly close. Vaccination led to the global eradication of smallpox in 1980. Even today, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation lists one of the goals of its malaria program as “ending malaria for good.” In recent years, Tufts University launched its Lyme Disease Initiative with the stated aim to “eradicate Lyme disease by 2030.”

But as new zoonotic diseases emerge (and resurge), the goal of a world free of such diseases is beginning to feel like a pipe dream to an increasing number of researchers. (Read More)

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