Overview

An emerging disease with epidemic potential is a disease with new or emerging features that challenge control. This does not include highly-transmissible respiratory viruses, which are addressed under “Respiratory virus with pandemic potential”. Emerging diseases are difficult to contain or treat, and present significant challenges to risk communication since mechanics of transmission, laboratory identification, and effective treatment protocols may be unknown. This hazard includes the intentional or accidental release of a biological weapon or synthetic pathogen for which there is no antidote or cure. Previous events that fit this hazard include Ebola, Zika, the emergence of HIV, and the current opioid epidemic.

Find out more about emerging diseases with epidemic potential:

Emerging Diseases with Epidemic Potential – Bibliography