5 reasons we are at risk for a global pandemic

The world has seen some cluster outbreaks recently as viruses like Ebola and Zika spread last year. However, scientists predict that the world will see a large outbreak in the next few years. This outbreak will require a lot of resources to reduce the number of fatalities. Here are five reasons why the world will have a global epidemic.

Growing populations and urbanization – More people are living near urban areas and therefore live much closer to each other. The close contact gives diseases a greater chance of spreading. Additionally, more people, place a larger strain on sanitation, water, and food supply.

Encroaching into new environments – As the population grows, more people are expanding into uninhabited territories and therefore come in contact with more animals and new infections. For example, Lassa fever occurred because people started living in forests for farming purposes. Lassa spread due to the contact of feces of infected rodents.

Climate change – The world’s climate is changing causing heat waves, flooding which provides the opportunity to spread more water-borne Scientists and environmentalists predict that between 2030 and 2050, there will be 250,000 additional deaths due to heat, malnutrition and infectious diseases.

Global travel – Since travel has become more widespread, people are spreading diseases to other areas by traveling when they are ill.

Civil conflict – When there is unrest in a country, people have no proper access to water, food, and sanitation and therefore can worsen the situation by spreading disease.