New York Times Examines Global Efforts To Predict New Disease Outbreaks

The New York Times examines how “[t]eams of veterinarians and conservation biologists are in the midst of a global effort with medical doctors and epidemiologists to understand the ‘ecology of disease.'” According to the newspaper, “Sixty percent of emerging infectious diseases that affect humans are zoonotic — they originate in animals. And more than two-thirds of those originate in wildlife.” USAID is funding a project called Predict, which is attempting to forecast and predict disease outbreaks based on environmental factors and human impact, such as deforestation or urbanization, the newspaper notes. “The best way to prevent the next outbreak in humans, specialists say, is with what they call the One Health Initiative — a worldwide program, involving more than 600 scientists and other professionals, that advances the idea that human, animal and ecological health are inextricably linked and need to be studied and managed holistically,” the New York Times writes (Robbins, 7/14).

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