In Episode #101, I was fortunate enough to sit down with well-known National Geographic writer and author David Quammen to talk about zoonotic diseases and mitigating the risk of future pandemics. This is a fascinating area of science that gives yet another reason to be mindful of our lifestyles. Given that predictions suggest there are over 1.5 million animal viruses yet to be discovered, understanding what increases the likelihood of one of those viruses passing from an animal to a human is incredibly important for human health.
David and I discussed the origin of zoonotic diseases, what a ‘spillover’ means, what reservoir hosts are, and specific zoonotic diseases such as HIV and Ebola. David also shared his insights into transmissibility and fatality rates, the likely origin of COVID-19, and how human activity affects the risk of these emerging novel diseases.
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