In the last fifteen years the world witnessed the emergence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or Mad Cow disease in the United Kingdom, Hendra virus in Australia, Nipah virus in Malaysia, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in China, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) or Bird Flu in Southeast
Asia, and most recently Pandemic H1N1 Influenza, which was initially detected in Mexico and has now spread throughout the globe.
These events share something in common: the associated diseases are caused by micro-organisms that have been able to pass from their original animal host to humans. The looming risk is that once they have accomplished this first step, they may further evolve and develop the capacity to sustain person-to-person transmission. Arguably, in human populations that have had no prior exposure to these pathogens, such ‘invasions’ cause fear and can potentially lead to severe pandemics.
Read more … (Pro-Poor HPAI Risk Reduction Strategies)