Technology and Infectious Disease
Humanity has grown to include vast populations that stretch across the planet and collect in large urban centers. At the same time, we have developed a wide range of technologies that have had a significant influence on the global environment. While technology has helped to fight disease and provide a comfortable life for many people, it has also created several problems. For example, there has been a resurgence of infectious diseases over the past several decades that may be linked to technological advances. A research paper on technology and infectious disease will want to cover the following elements:
- The unprecedented rise in infectious diseases during the twentieth century.
- This discussion will demonstrate that this resurgence of infectious disease is directly related to technological advances that disregard ecological concerns.
- Overview of specific technological advances that have spurred on the rise in infectious disease.
An example of the relationship between technology and the creation of environments conducive to infectious disease is illustrated by a report from hydrologists from the U.S. Geological Survey. The study included water samples from more than 100 bodies of water in 30 states and was published in the March 2002 issue of Environmental Science and Technology. It discovered many chemicals that are not removed at wastewater plants, like “pharmaceutical and personal care pollutants” from common substances such as detergents, contraceptives, painkillers, personal cleansing products and insect repellents.
The amounts of the pollutants in the above study were very small, as low as one part per billion or less, but they may have a cumulative effect on the environment, wildlife, and human health. Some scientists suspect there may be a connection between medicines and the growth of antibiotic-resistant germs, while others believe there is a link between “technological pollutants” in our water and air and the increase in chronic and infectious disease.