"US Should Watch for Animal Disease, Institute Says"

"The United States needs to lead a global effort to protect people from new outbreaks of deadly infectious diseases that originate in animals, such as swine flu, AIDS and SARS, health experts said on Tuesday.

Air travel, climate change, population growth and rising demand for meat products from developing countries have accelerated the spread of 'zoonotic' diseases, according to a panel set up by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.

Species-jumping pathogens also pose special dangers for people because the human immune system can be ill-equipped to resist them.

But health authorities have no effective system that can stamp out new diseases as they arise among animals and humans."

David Morgan reports for Reuters September 22, 2009.

Thursday, September 24, 2009