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Ebola Outbreak 2014 2015 by Dr. Fauci

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Could Preserving the Diversity of Species Protect us from Disease?

New research on the prevalence of "sin nombre" hantavirus in deer mice authored by Laurie J. Dizney and Luis A. Ruedas from Portland State University and published in the CDC's Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal suggests a diversity of animal species helps defend against the emergence of pathogens that infect humans. The scientists found that the proportion of deer mice infected with SNV was dependent on the variations and number of mammal species in the environment.

"Emerging outbreaks of zoonotic diseases are affecting humans at an alarming rate. Until the ecological factors associated with zoonoses are better understood, disease emergence will continue. For Lyme disease, disease suppression has been demonstrated by a dilution effect, whereby increasing species diversity decreases disease prevalence in host populations. To test the dilution effect in another disease, we examined 17 ecological variables associated with prevalence of the directly transmitted Sin Nombre virus (genus Hantavirus, etiologic agent of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome) in its wildlife host, the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). Only species diversity was statistically linked to infection prevalence: as species diversity decreased, infection prevalence increased. The increase was moderate, but prevalence increased exponentially at low levels of diversity, a phenomenon described as zoonotic release. The results suggest that species diversity affects disease emergence."
 
 

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