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06 December 2010

Extinctions threaten human health

Scientists warn that the current rapid loss of plants and animals could increase the spread of infectious diseases.

Current rapid species extinctions will likely remove many plants and animals that act as a buffer against the transmission of infectious disease, leaving behind species that encourage spread of disease, new research suggests.

"A better understanding of the role of environmental change in disease emergence and transmission is key to enabling both prediction and control of many infectious diseases," study co-author Josh Rosenthal, EID program director at the National Institutes of Health, added in the same release. "This thoughtful analysis is an important contribution toward those goals."

 
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