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Infection from animal to human: ‘We play with fire’

The coronavirus is not an isolated case. Experts warn of the increasing risk of zoonoses, infectious diseases transmitted from animals to humans. “Usually it ends well, sometimes it doesn’t.”

In different media, experts were interviewed about the increasing risk of zoonoses. There are 150 diseases worldwide that can be considered zoonotic, caused by a bacterium or a virus. Thirteen of these are responsible for 2.2 million deaths annually. Two articles are highlighted here, an interview in Het Financieele Dagblad and an article on Foodlog. Het Financieele Dagblad begins the article with the example of Tularemia as one of these diseases, see also the infographic about Tularemia on this page. But also avian and swine flu, bovine tuberculosis and hepatitis E are examples of diseases caused by zoonotic pathogens.

Het Financieele Dagblad interviewed Hans Zaaijer from Sanquin and Amsterdam UMC, Wim van der Poel from Wageningen University & Research and Dick Heederik from University Utrecht who are concerned about the risks and explain what is already done in research to be better prepared.

On Foodlog the article starts with: Chairman NCOH: “livestock ‘potential risk’ for epidemic, but no cause of coronacrisis”. This is what Dick Heederik, professor of One Health Risk Analysis (UU) and chairman of the Netherlands Center for One Health, has stated in an interview with trade magazine Boerderij.

Read more in the article in Het Financieele Dagblad (in Dutch).

Read more in the article at Foodlog (in Dutch).