Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

New study maps hotspots of human-animal infectious diseases and emerging disease outbreaks

FIGURE 2. Global richness map of the geographic origins of EID events from 1940 to 2004.
The map is derived for EID events caused by all pathogen types. Circles represent one degree grid cells, and the area of the circle is proportional to the number of events in the cell.
This image and others from this article may be found here 

 

Maps reveal animal-borne disease as heavy burden for 1 billion of world’s poor; new evidence on zoonotic emerging disease hotspots in US and Western Europe

From the 4 July 2012 EurkAlert article

NAIROBI, KENYA (5 July 2012)—A new global study mapping human-animal diseases like tuberculosis (TB) and Rift Valley fever finds that an “unlucky” 13 zoonoses are responsible for 2.4 billion cases of human illness and 2.2 million deaths per year. The vast majority occur in low- and middle-income countries.

[An abstract of the article may be found here. Full text requires a paid subscription. Article may be free at a local academic, public, or medical library. Call ahead and ask for a reference librarian!]

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 “top 20” list of geographical hotspots.

“From cyst-causing tapeworms to avian flu, zoonoses present a major threat to human and animal health,” said Delia Grace, a veterinary epidemiologist and food safety expert with ILRI in Kenya and lead author of the study. “Targeting the diseases in the hardest hit countries is crucial to protecting global health as well as to reducing severe levels of poverty and illness among the world’s one billion poor livestock keepers.”

“Exploding global demand for livestock products is likely to fuel the spread of a wide range of human-animal infectious diseases,” Grace added.

According to the study, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Tanzania in Africa, as well as India in Asia, have the highest zoonotic disease burdens, with widespread illness and death. Meanwhile, the northeastern United States, Western Europe (especially the United Kingdom), Brazil and parts of Southeast Asia may be hotspots of “emerging zoonoses”—those that are newly infecting humans, are newly virulent, or have newly become drug resistant. The study examined the likely impacts of livestock intensification and climate change on the 13 zoonotic diseases currently causing the greatest harm to the world’s poor.

The report, Mapping of Poverty and Likely Zoonoses Hotspots, was developed with support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). The goal of the research was to identify areas where better control of zoonotic diseases would most benefit poor people. It also updates a map of emerging disease events published in the science journal Nature in 2008 by Jones et al.i

Remarkably, some 60 percent of all human diseases and 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. Among the high-priority zoonoses studied here are “endemic zoonoses,” such as brucellosis, which cause the vast majority of illness and death in poor countries; “epidemic zoonoses,” which typically occur as outbreaks, such as anthrax and Rift Valley fever; and the relatively rare “emerging zoonoses,” such as bird flu, a few of which, like HIV/AIDS, spread to cause global cataclysms. While zoonoses can be transmitted to people by either wild or domesticated animals, most human infections are acquired from the world’s 24 billion livestock, including pigs, poultry, cattle, goats, sheep and camels.

July 6, 2012 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , | 1 Comment

HealthMap PREDICT warns about diseases moving between wildlife and people

HealthMap PREDICT – A global early warning system to detect and reduce the impacts of emerging diseases that move between wildlife and people (zoonotic diseases).

map: global pandemic threats

From the about page

In order to predict, respond to, and prevent the emergence of novel infectious diseases in humans, pathogens must be identified at their source. Explosive human population growth and environmental changes have resulted in increased numbers of people living in close contact with animals. Unfortunately the resulting increase in contact, together with changes in land use, has altered the inherent ecological balance between pathogens and their human and animal hosts.

PREDICT, a project of USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats Program,is building a global early warning system to detect and reduce the impacts of emerging diseases that move between wildlife and people (zoonotic diseases). PREDICT has developed a SMART surveillance method (Strategic, Measurable, Adaptive, Responsive, and Targeted) that accounts for the fact that zoonotic pathogens, such as influenza and SARS, are responsible for the majority of emerging infectious diseases in people, and that more than three quarters of these emerging zoonoses are of wildlife origin. The SMART surveillance approach is designed to detect novel diseases with pandemic potential early, giving health professionals the best opportunity to prevent emergence and spread. It also targets sentinel animal species at active human interfaces in hotspot regions to improve surveillance efficiency.

The PREDICT team builds on a broad coalition of partners to develop the global capacity to monitor diseases at the animal-human interface and develop a risk-based approach to concentrate these efforts in surveillance, prevention, and response at the most critical points for disease emergence from wildlife.

PREDICT project objectives:

  • Assess local surveillance capacity;
  • Implement targeted and adaptive wildlife disease surveillance systems;
  • Develop and deliver new technologies to improve efforts close to the source;
  • Use cutting-edge information management and communication tools to bring the world closer to realizing an integrated, global approach to emerging zoonotic diseases.

A sampling of other health maps

February 12, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Statistics, Public Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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