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Researchers have developed a tool to assess wildlife markets for risks of zoonotic outbreaks. It can help governments decide on courses of action, with strict veterinary requirements potentially more effective than bans. July 6 marks World Zoonoses Day, the anniversary of Louis Pasteur’s first successful testing of his rabies vaccine on a human subject. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the globe, active measures are required to quell further outbreaks of zoonotic diseases. For decades, scientists have been warning of dangerous zoonoses — zoonotic diseases caused by germs that spread between animals and people. From SARS to MERS and Ebola, many infectious diseases are transmitted by viruses that have an animal origin. According to a report by the World Biodiversity Council, there are as many as 1.7 million undetected viruses in the animal kingdom, 827,000 of which could infect humans. As humans and wild animals come into ever closer contact, it is unlikely that COVID-19 is the last pandemic in our globalized world.

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