Want to prevent pandemics? Stop spillovers

Neil M. Vora, Lee Hannah, Susan Lieberman, Mariana M. Vale, Raina K. Plowright, and Aaron S. Bernstein in Nature:

Spillover events, in which a pathogen that originates in animals jumps into people, have probably triggered every viral pandemic that’s occurred since the start of the twentieth century1. What’s more, an August 2021 analysis of disease outbreaks over the past four centuries indicates that the yearly probability of pandemics could increase several-fold in the coming decades, largely because of human-induced environmental changes2.

Fortunately, for around US$20 billion per year, the likelihood of spillover could be greatly reduced3. This is the amount needed to halve global deforestation in hotspots for emerging infectious diseases; drastically curtail and regulate trade in wildlife; and greatly improve the ability to detect and control infectious diseases in farmed animals.

More here.