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DIVERSITAS ecoHEALTH on Surveillance of Emerging Diseases


The end goal of this project is to develop a standardised system of surveillance, which will not only allow informing about emergence of epidemics or new diseases but also testing some science questions related to biodiversity and infectious diseases. This system would – for example – facilitate bringing measurements of landscape and anthropogenic parameters into current surveillance systems. It will build on a series of global efforts to conduct surveillance in wildlife, hunters, cohorts of 'at-risk' people - each of these designed to prevent the next emerging zoonotic disease. This project will be partly implemented through the USAID PREDICT project and will be linked to GEO BON, the global biodiversity observation network.



Zoonotic diseases - or those that can be transmitted between animals and humans - represent approximately 75% of the newly emerging diseases currently affecting people. In the context of globalisation and expansive trade and travel, these diseases can travel very quickly, posing serious public health, development and economic concerns.

The PREDICT project seeks to identify new emerging infectious diseases that could become a threat to human health. PREDICT partners locate their research in geographic "hot spots" and focus on wildlife that are most likely to carry zoonotic diseases, such as bats, rodents, and nonhuman primates. High-risk wildlife is being tested in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Malaysia, and Mexico. The project supports local researchers, contributes to actively build local capacity and creates a network of research, communication, and response partners between scientists and policymakers in each country and on a local, regional, and global level.

More on PREDICT.


PREDICT coordinator:

Jonathan Epstein, EcoHealth Alliance, USA

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