The impact of climate change and other factors on zoonotic diseases

Approximately 60% of emerging human pathogens are zoonoses. The complex nature of the human-animal interface is constantly influenced by the effects of climate change, anthropogenic and natural factors. Geoclimatic change most markedly affects zoonotic diseases transmitted by arthropod vectors. Travel, tourism and trade are the major human factors impacting the epidemiology of zoonotic diseases. The re-emergence of zoonotic diseases is also driven by pathogen adaptation and animal migration. All these factors converge to make zoonotic diseases such as West Nile fever and Lyme disease of great public health concern in the developed world. However, the effects of climate change are predicted to be worse for the developing world where challenging socioeconomic and political environments are exacerbated by a lack of epidemiological studies on zoonotic diseases.

Author(s): Preneshni R Naicker

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