Thursday, 9 July 2009

Preserving biodiversity helps prevent the spread of disease

'New Scientist shows us another reason why preserving biodiversity is so important: Preventing the spread of diseases from animals to humans. A new paper from scientists at Portland State University looks at the spread of the Sin Nobre Virus, otherwise known as the Hantavirus (which kills about 500 people per year in the US) and found that increased biodiversity limited the spread of the virus among deer mice. It's the droppings of the deer mice which spreads the disease among humans:

Low Diversity = High Disease
The researchers made the connection between increased mammal diversity and lower infection rates among deer mice after conducting field work in Portland's parks for the past four years. In place where mammal diversity was lowest infection levels increased dramatically.' Read the rest of this post from Treehugger. Good to have some (more) positive consequences of successfully limiting climate change to point to.

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