Man-made pandemicsAre humans to blame for the world's most significant global pandemics?
Emerging infectious diseases, including Ebola, avian flu and the West Nile virus, have quadrupled in the last half-century. Specialists in disease ecology put much of the blame on human activity, adding that human destruction of natural habitats and ecosystems, especially in disease “hot spots” around the globe, have led to the spike. Could more responsible environmental management and treatment towards animals could help prevent millions of deaths from wildlife-transmitted diseases?
In this episode of The Stream, we speak to Alonso Aguirre (@SMConservation), executive director of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, and Samuel Scheiner, director of the Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases program at the National Science Foundation.
What do you think? ? Is the destruction of nature to blame for emerging diseases? Send us your thoughts and comments on Facebook or Twitter using #AJStream.