- Many of the world’s deadliest diseases — including the novel coronavirus — came from animals.
- Experts in animal-to-human disease transmission say increased deforestation and wildlife trading are causing more and more of these zoonotic spillover events.
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Two new diseases have jumped from animals to humans every year, on average, over the last century. Some are mild, but others — like Ebola and HIV — are devastating.
Most experts now agree that Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, came from bats, though we still don’t know exactly how or when that happened. It’s likely the coronavirus passed through an intermediary species before infecting people.
What scientists are sure about, however, is that due to widespread deforestation and a rampant global wildlife trade, humans are mixing with animals more often than ever in our history. The more those interactions occur, the more zoonotic spillover —