Mapping 'Hot Spots' for Emerging Diseases

World map highlighting hot spots of dieases that pass from animals to humans i i

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

itoggle caption Nature
World map highlighting hot spots of dieases that pass from animals to humans

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.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.