How Climate Change Could Lead to a New Pandemic

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Most infectious diseases in humans start out in another animal. Three out of four new or emerging diseases in people come from animals, as well as six out of every 10 infectious diseases known to infect humans, according to the CDC.

The reason for this is simple: As we interact with our environment and all the living things in it, we’re bound to be exposed to zoonotic diseases—illnesses spread from animals to humans—whether we like it or not. Unfortunately, with climate change wreaking havoc on our planet, humanity’s chances of being exposed to new diseases are only likely to grow.

In a new study published Thursday in the journal Nature, researchers predict that climate change is going to shake up where animals live, abetting the exchange of more infectious viruses than ever before—and all in dangerous proximity to humans. Disconcertingly, this impending global health crisis may already be underway—and is likely to happen even if we manage to keep global warming down to 2 degrees Celsius, above which we would head into a world of unstable climate change.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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