Diseases spread between humans and animals are called zoonoses. Zoonoses comprise nearly two-thirds of known human infectious diseases and the majority of newly emerging infectious diseases (EIDs). COVID-19 is the most recent zoonosis and has killed millions of people globally while devastating economies.
The risk posed by EIDs has increased because of:
· movement of wild animals and their parasites into new areas via climate change, global trade, and travel.
· human intrusion into and conversion of natural areas for agriculture, livestock, industrial/raw materials extraction, and housing;
· increased wildlife trade and consumption;
· increased human mobility resulting from global trade, war/conflicts, and migration made faster and farther by fossil fuel-powered travel; and
· widespread antimicrobial use, which can promote antibiotic-resistant infections.
So, joining the dots means that climate change is contributing to the spread of diseases in both wildlife and humans. Increased contact between wildlife and human populations increases disease risk and climate change is altering where pathogens that cause diseases and the animals that carry them live. The spillover of some emerging infectious diseases from wildlife into humans is associated with live animal-human markets, intensified livestock production and climate-related movements of humans and wild animals into new areas that alter human-animal interactions.