November 27th that the website of Spain’s Abesasai published a newspaper entitled “Where will the next epidemic appear?” on November 26. According to the report, a study completed by an international research team recently revealed for the first time which parts of the world are more likely to have new outbreaks. The full text is excerpted as follows:
In an article published on the website of the Dutch Science Guide, scientists listed places around the world where people are more closely related to wildlife, including many large cities with high globalization. If precautions are not taken, these risk areas may face out-of-control epidemics in the future.
Research shows that areas with higher human pressure on wildlife cover more than 40% of the world’s most connected cities. Due to inadequate health infrastructure, about 14% to 20% of these highly interconnected cities may be inadvertently affected by new infectious diseases. The more risky areas include southern and southeastern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Researchers say that like COVID-19, any untested epidemic in these areas has the potential to turn into a global epidemic.
Led by the University of Sydney in Australia and in cooperation with experts from the United Kingdom, India and Ethiopia, the study clearly points out which cities in the world are at higher risk and which geographical regions need to pay more attention to this issue. The study divided the warning levels of different cities into yellow, orange and red.
Researchers have made great efforts to identify key locations around the world, said Michael Walsh, the lead author of the study. “This study links the relationship between wildlife and humans to health systems and globalization, pointing out where outbreaks may not be detected and thus spread across the world,” Walsh said.
Walsh argues that while poor countries (poorer health systems) have more cities in high-risk areas (red), rich countries also have a large number of cities in areas at two other levels (orange and yellow) because of the extreme pressure on wildlife in their development process.
To draw conclusions, the researchers focused on three stages. First of all, places where human-wildlife spatial communication is more frequent, and infection events are expected to be more common. Scientists list such areas as yellow or orange warnings.
Secondly, the researchers determined which areas where human beings pressure wildlife are less equipped with weaker health systems. In such areas, the chain of transmission of diseases is more likely to break after the outbreak. Such areas are red alerts.
Finally, the researchers identified cities within or adjacent to the risk area. Cities that are highly connected to the world’s air transport network may help the epidemic spread faster. The names of these cities appear on the high-resolution maps accompanying the study.
Walsh said: “Local governments can use our results to identify weak sites. With such new information, it is possible to develop systems covering human health infrastructure, animal breeding, habitat protection and mobility through transportation to prevent future epidemics.