|Map of zoonotic emerging infectious diseases. Number of zoonotic EID events:|
Is the world becoming sicker or are we just better able to detect disease? The last decades have seen dramatic improvements in biological disease detection with dozens of new potential pathogens anticipated by 2020. At the same time innovations in information management are increasing awareness of disease outbreaks. Perry et al. (2011)1 explore this in a recent review and conclude that there is overall evidence for increased emergence of disease in recent decades, and not just improvements in diagnosis and surveillance. The current increase in disease emergence is not historically unprecedented: major epidemiological transitions also occurred during the Neolithic when livestock were domesticated on a wide-scale, during the age of exploration when Old World pathogens were introduced to the New World, and to a lesser extent with increased global travel in the nineteenth century).
- Perry, B.D., Grace, D. Sones, K., 2011. Current drivers and future directions of global livestock disease dynamics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 16 May 2011. doi 10.1073/pnas.1012953108 [↩]