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East-West Center
Coupled Natural-Human Systems and
Emerging Infectious Diseases:
Anthropogenic environmental change and
avian influenza in Vietnam
In the beginning …
Land Use and Land Cover Change
Risk Transition
Question: Is the risk of AI is related to
anthropogenic environmental changes?
Smith (1990) proposed an
environmental risk transition
where the environmental factors
leading to ill health were
categorized as traditional or
Traditional diseases are problems
at the household level (e.g.,
water, sanitation, food availability
and quality, ventilation and indoor
air pollution).
Modern diseases tend to operate
at the community level (i.e., urban
air quality, occupational hazards,
toxic chemicals and motorization)
but also lifestyle diseases.
Social & Ecological
Factors in Emerging
Infectious Disease
Hanoi Agricultural University
National Institute of Hygiene &
Epidemiology, Vietnam
• Unravel the mechanisms that underlie new and reemerging
infectious diseases (EID) by exploring complex interactions
within and among coupled natural and human (CNH)
systems. This poses one of the most difficult scientific
problems facing society today (Wilcox and Colwell 2005).
• Test the hypothesis that diseases
are most likely to emerge in the
transition phase as societies
move from traditional to modern.
• To determine what cultural &
psychological factors affect
perceptions of risk in traditional,
transitional and modern