Emerging Infections

The challenge before us is how best to govern ourselves and stymie the flood we unleashed - Ferris Jabr vice

Emerging Infections

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How Humanity Unleashed a Flood of New Diseases


Between 60 and 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases in humans come from other animals. Many zoonoses — rabies, Lyme, anthrax, mad cow disease, SARS, Ebola, West Nile, Zika — loom large in public consciousness; others are less familiar: Q fever, orf, Rift Valley fever, Kyasanur Forest disease. More than a few, including influenza, AIDS and the bubonic plague, have caused some of the deadliest outbreaks in recorded history. Although zoonoses are ancient, thought to be referenced in Mesopotamian tablets and the Bible, their numbers have increased in the last few decades, along with the frequency of outbreaks.

Zoonotic pathogens do not typically seek us out nor do they stumble…

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Last Updated : Tuesday, July 28, 2020