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Doctors performing surgery in hospital operating room

Source: FangXiaNuo / Getty

The World Health Organization‘s annual list of the top 10 threats to global health is out and what’s included this year’s list may surprise you.

The 2019 list includes things like infectious disease epidemics and drug-resistant superbugs as well as potentially preventable health problems, such as heart and lung disease.

New to this year’s list are the anti-vaxxers, those who refuse to vaccinate their children. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls is “vaccine hesitancy.” There are several reasons why people are opposed to vaccination but, the WHO noted complacency, lack of access, and poor confidence in vaccines as key factors. Whatever their reasons, anti-vaxxers are threatening to reverse decades of progress made since the widespread implementation of immunization programs. 

Check out the full list of WHO Health Threats below. The WHO will address these threats with a new five-year plan, starting in 2019, which aims to ensure access to universal health coverage, protection from health emergencies, and improved health and well-being for billions of people. 

1. Reluctance or refusal to vaccinate (aka the anti-vaxxer movement)

2. A global influenza pandemic

3. Noncommunicable diseases

4. People in fragile and vulnerable settings due to crises

5. Drug-resistant bacteria, parasites, and viruses

6. Air pollution and climate change

7. Ebola virus and other high-threat pathogens

8. HIV

9. Ineffective or inadequate primary health care

10. Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease

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