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Science Bulletins: Wildlife Trade Presents Health Risks

A recent study provides the first evidence that global traffic in wildlife and wildlife products poses a significant health risk to humans. Analysis of illegal wildlife products confiscated at U.S. airports confirmed the presence of highly contagious diseases. The majority of emerging infectious diseases originate in wildlife, and contact with wildlife contributes to the spread of pathogens in human populations worldwide. With millions of live wild animals and wildlife products entering the United States each year, this study demonstrates the necessity of refining methods for identifying infectious diseases in wildlife. Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Find out more about Science Bulletins at http://www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins/. Related Links: PLoS One: Zoonotic Viruses Associated with Illegally Imported Wildlife http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0029505 Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics http://research.amnh.org/genomics/ Wildlife Conservation Society http://www.wcs.org/ EcoHealth Alliance http://www.ecohealthalliance.org/ Mailman School of Public Health http://www.mailman.columbia.edu/ International Union for Conservation of Nature http://www.iucn.org/ USGS National Wildlife Health Center http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/
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