We’re All Connected – Diseases Prove It

Passing Disease – CluesAmbience: Dawn chorus, BotswanaUnderstanding the ecology of wildlife in Botswana, Africa is giving scientists clues as to how we may better control disease worldwide. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Alexander: Botswana is a very dry country with a small population, but an enormous wildlife resource. It’s unique in the sense that it has such high density of humans and wildlife together. So, it allows us to ask really interesting questions about, how does this overlap influence human and animal health? And why is that important? Seventy percent of all emerging pathogens originate in wildlife. For the past two decades ecologist Dr. Kathleen Alexander has been studying how diseases are passed between animals and humans in Botswana.Alexander: So, understanding how pathogens might emerge how we might, in fact, give pathogens back when I say a pathogen, I mean a disease how that disease organism might move back and then come again back into our sphere. Influenza virus everyone’s afraid of influenza virus, and that’s because it can move around. It can move into animals and back into humans and change, and those changes can be profound and mean that millions of people die for example, the Spanish flu. And what we want to understand, then, is, where do these linkages occur, and how can our actions change the health of those systems and the health of the water and the potential for a pathogen to emerge? And why would understanding Botswana matter? Because increasingly, we’re linked all over the globe. We no longer sit in isolation. We learned from SARS. SARS erupted in China and, all of a sudden, we were seeing cases in Canada, the United States all over the world. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation and Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.

We're All Connected - Diseases Prove It

The wildlife of Botswana is giving scientists clues as to how to better control disease worldwide.
Air Date:10/17/2019
Scientist:
Transcript:

Passing Disease - CluesAmbience: Dawn chorus, BotswanaUnderstanding the ecology of wildlife in Botswana, Africa is giving scientists clues as to how we may better control disease worldwide. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Alexander: Botswana is a very dry country with a small population, but an enormous wildlife resource. It's unique in the sense that it has such high density of humans and wildlife together. So, it allows us to ask really interesting questions about, how does this overlap influence human and animal health? And why is that important? Seventy percent of all emerging pathogens originate in wildlife. For the past two decades ecologist Dr. Kathleen Alexander has been studying how diseases are passed between animals and humans in Botswana.Alexander: So, understanding how pathogens might emerge how we might, in fact, give pathogens back when I say a pathogen, I mean a disease how that disease organism might move back and then come again back into our sphere. Influenza virus everyone's afraid of influenza virus, and that's because it can move around. It can move into animals and back into humans and change, and those changes can be profound and mean that millions of people die for example, the Spanish flu. And what we want to understand, then, is, where do these linkages occur, and how can our actions change the health of those systems and the health of the water and the potential for a pathogen to emerge? And why would understanding Botswana matter? Because increasingly, we're linked all over the globe. We no longer sit in isolation. We learned from SARS. SARS erupted in China and, all of a sudden, we were seeing cases in Canada, the United States all over the world. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation and Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.