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Mapping 'Hot Spots' for Emerging Diseases

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Mapping 'Hot Spots' for Emerging Diseases

Global Health

Mapping 'Hot Spots' for Emerging Diseases

Mapping 'Hot Spots' for Emerging Diseases

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/19279813/19279807" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Researchers say that areas in which humans and animals come in very close contact are a key grounds for emerging diseases. Above, a world map highlights hot spots for diseases passed from animals to humans. Nature hide caption

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Nature

Researchers say that areas in which humans and animals come in very close contact are a key grounds for emerging diseases. Above, a world map highlights hot spots for diseases passed from animals to humans.

Nature

Outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases such as Ebola, SARS, HIV and avian influenza are on the rise around the world, researchers report in the journal Nature. By assembling data collected over decades from hundreds of different disease outbreaks, researchers have mapped out likely "hot spots" for these diseases.

The team found that the developing world was a key ground for emerging diseases, especially in areas in which humans and animals are in very close contact.

"These maps show that the key threat to public health is where human population growth and wildlife diversity clash," says Peter Daszak, one of the authors of the report.

Daszak, executive director of the Consortium for Conservation Medicine, and Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, talk about the threat of disease outbreak and modes of prevention.