Scores of infectious diseases have emerged to threaten humans in the past decades as viruses leap the species barrier from wild animals and bacteria mutate into antibiotic-resistant strains, scientists reported on Wednesday.
Presenting the first-ever map of "hotspots" of new infectious diseases, they predict that the next pandemic is likeliest to come out of poor tropical countries, where burgeoning human populations come into contact with wildlife.
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The emergence of new diseases have roughly quadrupled over the past 50 years, says the study, appearing in the British journal Nature.
Sixty percent of them are so-called zoonoses, or diseases that have been transmitted from animals to humans.