Scared of bird flu? How about the viral Rift Valley fever? These diseases and many others are animal diseases that have grown the ability to infect humans. They’re known as zoonoses. You heard it, zoonoses. And humanity’s ever-growing taste for livestock products could stoke the growth of these zoonoses: More sick animals around just increases the chances. Already, 13 kinds of zoonoses kill 2.2 million people each year, mostly in poor countries. A whopping 60% of human disease--and 75% of emerging infectious disease--is zoonotic. The best way to prevent these diseases from spreading further is to identify their hotspots--and quickly take measures to control them.
A report from the International Livestock Research Institute, the Institute of Zoology, and the Hanoi School of Public Health in Vietnam collected a list of the top 20 zoonosis hotspots in the world. According to the report, we should be focusing our zoonosis prevention efforts on Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, India, Western Europe, Brazil, the northeastern U.S., and some parts of Southeast Asia.