Scientists Use Climate, Population Changes to Predict Diseases

British scientists say they have developed a model that can predict outbreaks of zoonotic diseases – those such as Ebola and Zika that jump from animals to humans – based on changes in climate.

Describing their model as "a major improvement in our understanding of the spread of diseases from animals to people", the researchers said it could help governments prepare for and respond to disease outbreaks, and to factor in their risk when making policies that might affect the environment.

"Our model can help decision-makers assess the likely impact (on zoonotic disease) of any interventions or change in national or international government policies, such as the conversion of grasslands to agricultural lands," said Kate Jones, a professor who co-led the study at University College London's genetics, evolution and environment department.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-disease-prediction-idUSKCN0YY133

Tom

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