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Drivers of emerging and re-emerging diseases

 

Emerging and re-emerging diseases (ERDs), particularly those that affect people, fascinate professionals and the general public alike when they occur, giving rise to intense curiosity about their origin and fear ‒ panic sometimes ‒ that a ‘new’ epidemic will impact on large numbers of people with gruesome consequences. Such diseases are, however, only a subset of a wider array ERDs that affect plants and animals of all kinds. In the medical and veterinary worlds infections considered to be emerging or re-emerging differ but a number of zoonoses are common to both groups.