Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Growing number of farm animals spawn new diseases

A growing number of livestock, such as cows and pigs, are fueling new animal epidemics worldwide and posing more severe problems in developing countries as it threatens their food security, according to a report released by the International Livestock Research Institute. Seventy-five percent of emerging infectious diseases originate in animals. Of these 61 percent are transmissible between animals and humans. A new disease emerges every four months; many are trivial but HIV, SARS and avian influenza illustrate the huge potential impacts. The report warned that rapid urbanization and climate change could act as "wild cards," altering the present distribution of diseases, sometimes "dramatically for the worse." Source

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