Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic disease and how to break the chain of transmission

COVID-19 has caused profound damage to human health, societies and economies in every corner of the world. This illness is zoonotic, a type of disease that transmits between animals and humans. It may be the worst, but it is not the first. We already know that 60 per cent of known infectious diseases in humans and 75 per cent of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. Ebola, SARS, the Zika virus and bird flu all came to people by way of animals.Climate change can particularly affect diseases transmitted by insects, ticks and other arthropod vectors, according to the report Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic disease and how to break the chain of transmission. Warmer temperatures can increase the vector population size and distribution, along with the season duration when infectious vector species are present in the environment. In 2010 in Africa, an outbreak of Rift Valley fever, a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease, occurred with higher than average seasonal rainfall. The report stated that emerging diseases in Brazil showed a relationship between infectious diseases outbreaks and extreme climate events such as El Niño, La Niña, heat waves, droughts, floods, increased temperature and higher rainfall, along with environmental changes such as habitat fragmentation, deforestation, urbanisation and wild meat consumption.

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