Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2012

South Asia: Hot spot for cross-border diseases

In South Asia, one of the world's most densely populated regions, deadly diseases from animals, like the nipah virus, brucellosis, anthrax and even avian flu, cross international boundaries with ease.
A fruit bat on the India-Bangladesh border could spread the deadly nipah virus when it licks the juice of the date palm tree being collected by farmers. Likewise, cattle grazing in grasslands spanning borders could carry with them spores of the anthrax disease, or the ticks on them could spread brucellosis. According to experts, zoonotic diseases, transmitted from animals to humans, are able to cross international borders in South Asia due to the porous borders, poor awareness and surveillance mechanisms coupled with high density of population.
Among the diseases spread by animals in South Asia are the plague, scrub typhus, leptospirosis and avian flu. Brucellosis causes abortions in bovines, and sheep and goat. In humans, the fever can be confused with typhoid.
According to a senio…