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New Findings on Links between Urban Expansion and Viral Disease in Vietnam Offer Lessons for COVID-19

by James H. Spencer, Sumeet Saksena and Jefferson Fox

East-West Wire

Publisher: Honolulu, HI: East-West Center
Publication Date: 1 April 2020
Binding: electronic
Pages: 2
Free Download: PDF

 

The current COVID-19 pandemic, which started in Wuhan, China, underscores what the public health community has warned about for more than two decades—the risk of viral diseases capable of spreading from animal to human hosts. The first outbreaks of “bird flu” (highly pathogenic avian influenza—HPAI, subtype H5N1)—raised similar concerns 20 years ago, concerns that have persisted with the outbreak of SARS in 2002–2004 and COVID-19 today. A recent study compared information on infrastructure and other aspects of economic development in Vietnam with outbreaks of avian influenza. While this research focuses on avian influenza in Vietnam, the study of links between infrastructure characteristics and new and reemerging health risks has broad applicability, especially given the global importance of today’s rapidly expanding urban landscapes.

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