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A new global study mapping human-animal diseases like tuberculosis (TB) and Rift Valley fever finds that 13 zoonoses are responsible for 2.2 million human deaths per year
Diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans, such as bird flu and TB, can wreak havoc on the health of both organisms.
The report, which was conducted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the Institute of Zoology (UK) and the Hanoi School of Public Health in Vietnam, maps poverty, livestock-keeping and the diseases humans get from animals, and presents a list of 20 geographical hotspots.
The study, ‘Mapping of Poverty and Likely Zoonoses Hotspots’, reveals that majority of these illnesses and deaths occur in low and middle income countries like Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania, along with India, had the highest rates of associated illness and death.
Meanwhile, the northeastern United States, western Europe, Brazil and parts of southeast Asia may be hotspots of ‘emerging zoonoses.’ An emerging zoonosis is a disease that is newly infecting humans, has just become virulent, or has just become drug-resistant.
About 60 per cent of all human diseases and 75 per cent of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, according to the researchers.