International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care

Special Section: Vaccines and Public Health: Assessing Technologies and Public Policies

The Effectiveness of Means of Controlling Communicable Diseases

Kenneth S. Warrena1

a1 The Picower Institute for Medical Research

Abstract

Most communicable diseases are caused by infectious agents that are not visible to the naked eye, which led earlier societies to believe in miasmas and control by quarantine. Although microscopes revealed the agents in the eighteenth century, they were not associated with disease syndromes until the late nineteeth century. Today, vaccines are the most cost-effective means of control.

Kenneth S. Warren, MD, The Picower Institute for Medical Research, 350 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA