Keep forests intact to prevent disease outbreaks

For years, scientists have been trying to warn us that deforestation will unleash infectious diseases onto human populations, but this has been conveniently ignored by politicians wanting to make a quick profit from issuing licences for logging and agricultural expansion.

Scientists from all over the world, including disease ecologists at Ecohealth Alliance who are studying malaria Sabah and Sawawak, warn that human activities in forested areas – such as forest-clearing, road-building, mining, hunting, and logging – cause major disruptions to ecosystems, which then causes diseases to spread from their natural wild hosts to new hosts, including humans. International travel then helps some of these diseases spread to other countries and continents, causing significant damage to human health and economies.

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