Fellow Story

Smith finds number of infected people per outbreak worldwide falling

Fellow(s): Kate Smith

New strains of illnesses and resulting infectious disease outbreaks are on the rise around the globe, Brown University researchers discovered after analyzing data from the last 33 years. Bruised as your eyes feel after reading that, also know there’s a general trend whereby each outbreak affects fewer people (the current Ebola crisis excepted).


"We live in a world where human populations are increasingly interconnected with one another and with animals — both wildlife and livestock — that host novel pathogens," said Dr. Katherine Smith, assistant professor of biology and co-author of the study. "These connections create opportunities for pathogens to switch hosts, cross borders, and evolve new strains that are stronger than what we have seen in the past."

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