Loss of species can lead to increasing disease risk for humans

12/3/2010 | TIME (subscription required)

A review of 24 papers that looked at the link between biodiversity and the emergence and spread of infectious disease found that the loss of certain species can allow faster transmission of diseases, such as the West Nile virus or hantavirus, to humans. Some species actually serve as a buffer that can stop disease spread through animals, and when those species become extinct, humans can succumb to those diseases more easily, the researchers said.

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