Infectious diseases represent a threat to human health, plants and animals, posing a burden on families, the environment and the economy. A Question & Answers prepared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) explores, among other topics, what is the impact of biodiversity loss on health, how pathogens spill over from animals to humans, and how environmental degradation can contribute to the emergence of new diseases.

According to the organisations, stressed environmental conditions can significantly affect disease patterns of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, and compromise the resilience of the system as a whole. Changes in environmental conditions are already favouring the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, and the situation is likely to get worse, as noted by The Lancet Countdown 2019 Report. Addressing current environmental challenges is vital, and so is the development of new and complementary tools such as gene drive to avoid further increase of vector-borne diseases cases.

Check the Q&A at the CBD’s website.