FAO Report Warns Zoonosis Becoming More Common; MERS Can Infect Camels, Research Shows

“About 70 percent of new diseases infecting humans in recent decades have come from animals, the United Nations food agency … reported [Monday], warning that it is getting easier for diseases to jump species and spread as the population, agriculture and food-supply chains grow,” the U.N. News Centre reports. According to the report (.pdf) from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), titled “World Livestock 2013: Changing Disease Landscapes,” “a new, more holistic approach to managing disease threats is needed,” the news service writes (12/16). In related news, “[s]cientists have proved for the first time that the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus that has killed 71 people can also infect camels, strengthening suspicions the animals may be a source of the human outbreak,” Reuters reports, noting, “Camels are used in the region for meat, milk, transport and racing” (Kelland, 12/16).

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