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Training Manual on Wildlife Diseases and Surveillance
Of all of these influences and factors that contribute to disease emergence, the vast
majority are environmental and ecological changes. And even the evolution of completely new
pathogens is likely a response to changing environmental conditions resulting in new
evolutionary selection pressures on pathogens and potential pathogens.
The studies of the driving forces behind disease emergence also help explain why disease
emergence is occurring so rapidly now, at the beginning of the 21st Century, compared to earlier
decades or centuries. These driving forces are, themselves, new. Human numbers, domestic
animal numbers and environmental change is happening now at a rate and on a scale never
before experienced by humankind.
3. Geography of disease emergence
Risk of disease emergence does not appear to be uniformly distributed around the globe.
Instead, recent analysis suggests that it is concentrated in specific areas where the driving forces
of, and risk factors for, disease emergence also are concentrated. In particular, the tropical zones
of South and Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia appear to be areas of high
risk for disease emergence, and this is especially true for pathogens associated with wild
4. One World, One Health
The growing scientific understanding of the driving forces of disease emergence has
resulted in a new way of thinking about health management at all levels, from local to global. In
this new view, it is recognised that there are many interconnections among the health of people,
of domestic and wild animals and of the environment or ecosystem. It is not possible to manage
disease and achieve health in any one of these sectors in isolation. Instead, disease management
and health achievement must be approached by seeking relevant information and control points
in all sectors, simultaneously. This will require a whole new level of interchange of information,
coordination of policies and programmes, and collaborative management among authorities