The age of outbreaks: Experts warn of more animal disease threats

While such diseases — called zoonoses — have been around for millennia, they have become more common in recent decades due to deforestation, mass livestock cultivation, climate change and other human-induced upheavals of the animal world, experts say.

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Other diseases to leap from animals to humans include HIV, Ebola, Zika, SARS, MERS, bird flu and the bubonic plague.

The World Health Organization said on Thursday that it is still investigating the origins of Covid, but the “strongest evidence is still around zoonotic transmission”.

And with more than 1,000 monkeypox cases recorded globally over the last month, the UN agency has warned there is a “real” risk the disease could become established in dozens of countries.

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