Emergent Disease

An emergent disease is one that is either new or has recently returned as a problem.


Selling baby turtles as exotic pets has been banned in the USA, Canada and other countries due to public health risks. Yet America exports millions each year around the world spreading disease. (Photo courtesy of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.)

‘Emergent disease’ refers to pathological problems identified within recent history (approximately in the last two decades).

An emergent disease can be either a disease that is new or a disease that has long existed but which has for some reason has become a new problem.

‘Epidemiology’ refers to the study of disease in a population, and is a large and highly relevant part of EDF’s interests.