- By Deborah Balzer
Infectious Diseases A-Z: Looking to the future
Zika virus and antibiotic-resistant bacteria are two public health threats that have dominated medical headlines over the past 12 months and caused major concerns for health officials.What do medical experts hope for in 2017? Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group, looks to the future and offers these thoughts for the New Year:
"Because of my area of work, I would hope that we will develop an effective Zika vaccine. My own laboratory is working hard on that. I would hope we could increase immunization rates. We're the most developed nation in the history of the world and we are struggling with a basic public health maneuver of getting people protected."
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Dr. Poland says the No. 1 public health concern of the nation is the medical consequence of lifestyle. "We are becoming an aging society. We are, as a society, gaining more and more weight, and we’re less and less physically active, says, Dr. Poland. "I would hope that we would start to develop evidence-based lifestyle modifications that would improve the health of the nation."
And then one that is above and beyond basic health,"I yearn, as a physician, for a time when everybody has basic health care coverage."
Learn more about the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group:
- Discovery's Edge: Foreseeing the future of vaccines (Nov. 8, 2016)
- Mayo Clinic Minute: Inside a Zika vaccine research lab (July 14, 2016)
- Mayo Clinic begins development of Zika virus vaccine (March 7, 2016)