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Reporting on zoonotic diseases without inflaming panic

The next big thing in global health doesn’t get much attention.

Zoonotic diseases, or zoonoses, spread from vertebrate animals to human beings from viruses, bacteria, fungi, or other communicable agents, and scientists estimate 75 percent of new emerging infectious diseases will be zoonotic in origin. Humans and animals have a close relationship on an increasingly crowded planet, and this means zoonoses will be the diseases to watch in the near future.

But most people haven’t heard of zoonotic diseases, and most journalists haven’t covered them. In fact, these infectious diseases rarely make headlines or the nightly news until human-to-human transmission reaches potential pandemic proportions.

These terms and resources offer context on future zoonotic-related outbreaks and how global partnerships can make prevention possible.

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