The disease trackers

By Ed Yong | July 5, 2011 7:39 am

If you were trying to predict where the next new infectious disease will come from, the Mekong Basin would be a decent guess. This large river basin is shared by between China, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. It holds a booming mobile human population and hordes of accompanying livestock, which are encroaching into areas inhabited by wild animals. Within this throng, infections can easily jump from species to species and find new hosts in large numbers.

This threat of emerging diseases in the Mekong Basin is the subject of my latest feature, published today in the British Medical Journal. I discuss why this area is such a prime hotspot for new infections and the surveillance programmes that are trying to spot these diseases before they spread around the world. I also go into the problems of coordinating efforts across very different countries, how to spot diseases before they emerge, and how to spread the word of new infections using everything from email to mobile phones. Go and have a read.

(image source)

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Medicine & health
ADVERTISEMENT

Comments are closed.

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

Not Exactly Rocket Science

Dive into the awe-inspiring, beautiful and quirky world of science news with award-winning writer Ed Yong. No previous experience required.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+