The NHSS offers an assessment of the current and future threat environment, including:
• Emerging Infectious Diseases (EIDs): Pandemic pathogens can spread quickly, upend daily life, and have cascading health, social, economic, and political consequences. Additionally, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) continues to threaten human, animal, and environmental health as pathogens adapt to evade the current repertoire of drugs used to combat them.
• Climate Change: Climate change can disrupt critical infrastructure, worsen chronic health conditions, mental health, and health disparities, and drive the spread of disease. As global temperatures rise and more extreme physical effects of climate change take place, there is an increased risk of global competition for resources and surges in international population displacement.
• Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Threats and Biotechnology: Advancements in biotechnology increase the risk of accidental biological incidents, laboratory-acquired infections, and misuse such as the creation of bioweapons. Intentional use of CBRN materials continue to be a threat to the U.S.
• Cyberattacks: Cyberattacks on health technology can disrupt patient care and supply chains, put electronic patient data at risk, and worsen health outcomes.
• Unknown Threats and Concurrent Public Health Emergencies and Disasters: Concurrent incidents with negative health consequences strain the public health supply chain and response personnel, leading to economic instability and adverse impacts on patient care. Communities with chronic health disparities are especially vulnerable to compounding climate risks, such as a hurricane during an extreme heat wave.