New infectious diseases keep appearing, while known dangers like Ebola and even bubonic plague have never really gone away. Disease kills thousands of people and costs billions of dollars every year, especially in developing countries. Here are four good reasons why we should pursue a course of prevention rather than treatment.

1. Control

The CDC is constantly exposing new threats. Each one must be dealt with to prevent the spread of infection, including tracing the transmission of the disease, identifying symptoms, informing the public, and supplying healthcare facilities with medications to treat the public. This becomes increasingly more difficult as the number of afflicted rises. As we have seen, the potential for any outbreak to become an international epidemic is made all the more likely through air travel between affected and unaffected regions.

2. Healthier Births

One of the benefits of modern science is a huge reduction in infant mortality rates. Some of the improvements come from better nutrition and healthcare, but infant death, birth defects, and post-natal disorders are still very common. If Zika is not contained, it may mean hundreds of babies afflicted with microcephaly, a tragic situation for many families. The best way to prevent such infections and protect our future is to keep the public informed on proactive measures that limit exposure.

3. Longevity

Aging comes with a number of ailments we don’t fully understand, such as arthritis or Alzheimer’s. The elderly are more vulnerable to infectious disease. However, there are now longevity programs from organizations to prevent or forestall this risk by combatting the effects of aging. Experienced medical teams armed with the latest science and technology from these kinds of healthcare providers can tailor longevity treatments to each individual patient to help them feel and function with greater, more youthful vitality. This allows people to better fight disease even in their golden years.

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4. Cost

There’s no doubt that medical and prescription costs are rising sharply, and unlikely to drop anytime soon, if ever. Every outbreak of disease drives up these costs as pharmaceutical companies and healthcare facilities focus precious resources that are already in high demand with normal patient care. Relatively little money is available for preventing and controlling emerging diseases. Yet, it’s becoming increasingly clear that prevention is the wiser investment.

Despite modern medicine, dangerous diseases have the same potential to take lives and drain public funds. Hopefully, the same connections that make us more vulnerable can also promote more proactive solutions as new threats are dealt with.