Articles on Zoonotic diseases

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A small colony of Townsend’s big eared bats at Lava Beds National Monument, Calif. Shawn Thomas, NPS/Flickr

It’s wrong to blame bats for the coronavirus epidemic

The value that bats provide to humans by pollinating crops and eating insects is far greater than harm from virus transmission – which is mainly caused by human actions.
Places where lots of animals come into contact can help pathogens move from species to species. Baloncici/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Re-creating live-animal markets in the lab lets researchers see how pathogens like coronavirus jump species

In the real world, new diseases emerge from complex environments. To learn more about how, scientists set up whole artificial ecosystems in the lab, instead of focusing on just one factor at a time.
Cambodian high-school students line up to sanitize their hands to avoid coronavirus in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. AP Photo/Heng Sinith

Coronavirus: Fear of a pandemic, or a pandemic of fear?

China's coronavirus outbreak is stoking fears that it could become the next great global pandemic. As the World Health Organization declares a global emergency, it's also fanning a pandemic of fear.
People and animals live side by side – and can have pathogens in common. Nichola Hill

Influenza’s wild origins in the animals around us

No one then knew a virus caused the 1918 flu pandemic, much less that animals can be a reservoir for human illnesses. Now virus ecology research and surveillance are key for public health efforts.
Tackling local diseases like rabies could help health authorities identify new outbreaks more easily. N. Bastiaensen/World Organisation for Animal Health

Dealing with local diseases helps countries tackle new outbreaks

By tackling local threats and controlling existing diseases, countries are able to build the capacity needed to deal with future emerging disease threats.
The Monkeypox virus was isolated most recently in 2012 from a dead infant mangabey (species of monkey) in Ivory Coast. Shutterstock

Monkeypox has resurfaced in Nigeria. What you need to know

A disease suspected to be monkeypox is on the rampage in Nigeria. In less than one month, it has spread to seven of the country's 36 states and infected 31 people.
People who eat raw or undercooked meat from infected animals may get anthrax. Thumbi Mwangi

Here’s how to prevent another anthrax outbreak in Kenya

Governments in anthrax endemic countries should build efficient surveillance systems that incorporate detection, confirmation and efficient data collation and feedback.

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