Study Links Urbanization With Spread Of Infectious Diseases

by Paromita Datta published on -

Increasing urbanization may be a driving factor behind the spread of infectious diseases across the world. A major review led by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the UK and Canada found that extended urban expansion may have resulted in increasing vulnerability towards the spread of infectious diseases. Published in the journal Urban Studies, the article focused on extended urbanization, particularly the socio-ecological relationships and disruptions that has led to an increasing occurrence of infectious disease in peri-urban and suburban areas. [1]

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Increasing urbanization may have increased chances of spread of infectious diseases. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Extended urbanization includes suburbanization, post-suburbanization, and peri-urbanization. It occurs at the periphery of cities as they expand. This extension, particularly in developing nations of Asia and Africa, is also changing the way people live and interact with each other. The result is a fluid interaction between urban and rural environments which has created ‘new ecological niches’ that are conducive to the spread of infectious diseases.

The study found that these areas were more likely to be the centre for new as well as re-emerging infectious diseases. The increasing interaction between humans, livestock and displaced wildlife puts these areas at a particular risk for zoonosis, or infectious diseases that jump from animals to humans. The article pinpoints three key factors that have led to the spread of infectious diseases, demographic change, infrastructure, and governance. The study concluded by calling further research in this area to manage possible outbreaks and minimize risks. Protection Status
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About the Author

Paromita Datta covers the latest health and wellness trends for Organic Facts. An ex-journalist who specialized in health and entertainment news, Paromita was responsible for managing a health supplement for The New Indian Express, a leading national daily in India. She has completed her post-graduation in Business Administration from the University of Rajasthan and her diploma in journalism from YMCA, Delhi. She has completed an e-course, Introduction to Food and Health, from Stanford University, US.

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