Scientists fear illegal meat trading will cause the next global pandemic. When the WHO released its 2015 list of diseases that could trigger the next big outbreak, it contained only zoonotic diseases—those that jump from animal to human hosts—in so-called spillover events. Potential culprits included Ebola, HIV and flu.
Eating bushmeat increases the likelihood of spillover, and health officials are working to strategically handle local disease outbreaks when they occur and discourage the practice. But many of the world's poorest people feel they have few alternative protein sources.
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