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Human destruction of natural habitats allows disease-carrying animals to thrive, scientists find

Land use change may increase rise of diseases such as Covid-19, researchers say

Vincent Wood
Wednesday 05 August 2020 23:26
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The effect was found to be strongest for rodents, bats and passerine bird species
The effect was found to be strongest for rodents, bats and passerine bird species

Humanity’s manipulation of the natural world promotes the spread of disease-carrying animals and limits populations of species less likely to carry that illnesses can infect people, a study has found.

Ecosystems managed by humans are home to more species that typically host infectious diseases compared to undisturbed habitats, according research led by scientists at University College London.

With the world in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic, the study’s authors warned humanity must come to terms with the way it treats this ecosystems and the implications for future spillover of disease-causing microorganisms that spread from animals.

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