Our world may not have gotten physically smaller over the years, but our ability to travel rapidly across the globe has certainly made it FEEL smaller. As Dr. Sharon Deem of the St. Louis Zoo says, “We live in a changing world where I can leave here today and be in the middle of the last remaining forest of China in two days. We are up against each other more and more…” Unfortunately, this also makes it easier to spread disease and pathogens.
That’s why it’s more important that ever that we learn everything we can about diseases and how they’re spread. Approximately 75% of emerging diseases are zoonotic, meaning they can spread from animals to humans. And that’s why organizations such as the Institute for Conservation Medicine are so important – by investigating the connections between animal and human health, they can make progress toward reducing the spread of emerging diseases.