Title: National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

Access: http://www.nfid.org/

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) site has information for many levels of students from undergraduates to practicing physicians. The site supports the NFID's mission to make available public health education information and to aid in the prevention of infectious diseases.

People researching infectious diseases will find "Publications and NFID-Recommended Web Sites and Virtual Library of Diseases" most useful. "Publications" includes brochures, proceedings, and symposia on topics in infectious disease, not all of which are full text. The most useful link may be to "Clinical Updates," which contains reports on current pharmaceutical company-supported research. Also available in "Publications" is the full text of current and archived issues of the NFID newsletter, "The Double Helix."

"NFID-Recommended Web Sites and Virtual Library of Diseases" includes a variety of links to Web sites on specific diseases and other information. Each disease link goes to a short list of resources on the topic, which often includes a link to a Center for Disease Control (CDC) information sheet. There are also links to information on vaccines, current clinical trials, and the National Library of Medicine Web sites.

At the time of this review, a special feature on the site was "Bioterrorism Resources." The comprehensive links include general information, a news conference on the threat of bioterrorism, a CDC preparedness report, information about specific agents that could be used in a bioterrorism attack, plus a link to a series on bioterrorism in nature.

The "NFID-Recommended Sites" are reviewed by independent reviewers and must meet site criteria, including scientific accuracy. An e-mail link is provided to allow visitors to suggest Web pages to be considered for inclusion on the list. The Web sites in the Virtual Library of Diseases have not been reviewed.

The "NFID Factsheets" are not as useful because they do not have current updates. For example, the sheet on Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease/Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy is dated May 1996. The CDC fact sheet on the same topic is dated September 5, 2001, and is much more extensive.

The site is easy to navigate and is not merely lists of lists. There is a keyword search engine for the site, which brings up a list of links, dates, and relevancy scores. Everything works well except that the recommended Web site on vaccines only works with Microsoft Internet Explorer and not Netscape. All levels of researchers will find useful information here.

Carol McCulley
Linfield College

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