Most Infectious Diseases Come From Animals

Report: New research shows that roughly 75 percent of infectious diseases originate from animals.

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Recently, Michael Greger, director of public health and animal agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States, wrote a special CNN report on the alarming rise in animal-generated infectious diseases. “Tens to hundreds of thousands of caged animals under a single roof allow for zoonotic diseases to emerge, amplify and spread,” Greger says. In the report from the International Livestock Research Institute, which states that infectious diseases caused from animals—zoonotic diseases—result in roughly 2.5 billion human illnesses and 2.7 million deaths globally each year. Greger stresses as our society has increased meat consumption, the number of infectious diseases has also risen. Additionally, Greger notes that the most efficient way to decrease the rate of infectious diseases in the US is to move toward animal welfare on farms and free livestock from their confining cages.

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