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The new age of pandemics

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zika

Red areas are those most endangered by Zika virus.

The current Zika virus emergency centered in Brazil shows  that the pace of emerging infectious diseases is increasing and unpredictable.

And things are likely to get worse, at least for a while, suggests this MedPage Today piece, which notes:

“The National Academy of Sciences warned in 1992 that infectious disease had not been conquered and that — as a consequence of human activities — we were likely to see more and more pathogens spreading beyond their ancestral ranges.

“The causes, that 1992 report said, include:
“Increasing human populations, often pushing into new places and coming in contact with new pathogens.
“More and faster {human} travel.
“Growing urbanization.
“Erosion of some traditional public health infrastructure, such as mosquito control programs.”

And now we might add global warming, which might make broad areas now considered in temperate zones semi-tropical and thus more favorable for such disease carriers as mosquitoes.

 

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