Regional context

Last update: 23 September 2013

In the particular geographic and institutional framework of Southeast Asia, ASEAN community 2015 objectives should considerably increase the mobility of people and livestock within ASEAN community.

This will probably lead to the growth of regional animal, human and pathogens flows, and contact interfaces. This situation would, in all likelihood, increase pathogens and diseases emergence risks.

Because of population increase and economic changes with far-reaching ecological consequences, emerging infectious and parasitic diseases pose an ever-increasing threat to human and animal health or production. Many new infectious agents, characterized by a high pathogenic potential, have been recently identified. Furthermore, some well-known pathogens have been expanding their territories, causing increasing concern in recent decades due to changing epidemiological patterns. Most of these emerging disease events have involved zoonotic infectious agents: over 60% of EID affecting humans have a zoonotic origin and approximately 75% of the diseases that have emerged over the past two decades have wildlife sources, making zoonotic diseases a major and increasing threat to global health.

From this perspective, the Southeast Asian region, which is considered as a particularly significant biodiversity hotspot, is at particular risk for new pathogens emergence. Indeed, growing human populations, fast urbanization, shifting in livestock production and marketing and increasing contacts with wildlife and domesticated animals have created novel opportunities for the emergence of pathogens such as SARS at the end of 2002, and highly facilitated the spread of infectious diseases such as the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 strain since 2004, and the H1N1 pandemic influenza strain in 2009.

Last update: 23 September 2013

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