Ongoing human encroachment into and disruption of wildlife habitats will only increase the rate at which diseases like Ebola emerge, warned the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro, in an interview with The Independent.
Nabarro said that “zoonotic diseases” like Ebola – those that cross from animals to humans – are a “local and global threat to humanity.”
“I’ve been dealing with influenzas and SARS and MERS, they are a tip of the iceberg,” Nabarro said.
Researchers believe that the deadly flu-like disease known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) originated in wild animals and crossed to humans when such animals were sold at food markets in China. Similarly, the emerging disease known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, which has killed more than 350 people, is believed to have originated in bats, then moved to camels and from there to human beings.