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Why Infectious Disease Outbreaks Are Becoming So Common

We are going through an era of epidemics and pandemics

SARS-CoV-2. Monkeypox. Polio. Marburg. These viruses are no longer familiar just to public-health experts, but household names around the world, thanks to their recent incursions into human populations. People have always confronted pathogens of all sorts, but the attacks are becoming more commonplace, and more intense, than they ever have before.

“We are going through an era of epidemics and pandemics, and they are going to be more complex and more frequent,” says Jeremy Farrar, director of Wellcome, a global health charitable foundation that addresses health challenges. “We tend to see each [outbreak] in its own right, as an individual episode. But the truth is that they are almost all a symptom of underlying drivers, all of which are part of 21st-century life.”

The world has seen polio outbreaks before, for instance, as well as monkeypox clusters and cases of Marburg, a cousin of the deadly Ebola virus. We’ve even seen earlier versions of SARS-CoV-2 in the coronavirus outbreaks of 2002 and 2012. So why are these outbreaks piling up, seemingly all of sudden, and at the same time?

Please select this link to read the complete article from TIME.

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