Degradation of ecological systems has significantly increased the overall risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks in addition to having other complex effects on human health.WCS scientists have published a special new report:
"Links between ecological integrity, emerging infectious diseases originating from wildlife, and other aspects of human health - an overview of the literature"
The report draws on detailed case studies, global analyses, modelling, and broad expert consensus, notes that the majority of emerging infectious disease threats are zoonotic, originate from wildlife, and often cause major social and economic impacts. Ecological degradation increases the overall risk of zoonotic disease outbreaks originating from wildlife. Key “ingredients” that accentuate the risk of emerging infectious disease spillovers include land conversion, creation of new habitat edges, wildlife trade and consumption, and agricultural intensification especially when they are in, or linked to, areas of high biodiversity that elevate contact rates between humans and certain wildlife species.
New WCS Special Report Shows Links between Degradation of Ecological Integrity and Emerging Infectious Diseases