EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Waves of infectious diseases struck Israel and other countries in 2018, causing considerable concern. Broadly speaking, infectious diseases have the potential to regain much of their power as a factor limiting the size and expansion of human populations.
Waves of infectious diseases struck Israel in 2018, as well as other countries around the globe. A host of causes contributed to those waves, which spanned a broad range of diseases without a common denominator.
Infectious diseases are a major factor regulating the mortality rates of species. The vectors that affect the spread of such diseases include pharmacological, epidemiological, ecological, genetic, and demographic elements. Pharmacology is a man-made arena through which infectious diseases are tackled. It represents, in essence, a war between mankind and pathogens, whereby vaccines, anti-sera, antibiotics, and, to a limited extent, antiviral preparations are employed.
That war is constantly being fought. Pathogens change genetically as they evolve and can develop tolerances towards pharmacological weapons used to attack them. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, and anti-viral preparations can be very difficult to develop. Vaccines remain the cardinal protective tool.