How Are We Still Alive? | Dr Tristan Cogan

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Ebola, swine flu, plague – infectious diseases are constantly making the jump from animals into humans.

Every outbreak of a new disease prompts dire warnings of a coming pandemic of disease, but despite this humanity seems to ride out every crisis and eventually wins the battle. Why do bacteria and viruses that run rampant through the population when they first emerge seem to eventually settle down into a comfortable middle age, and how do bacterial evolution and human behaviour interact to stop the apocalypse coming?

Have we just been lucky so far?

Comments

JimTheEvo says:

Surely Rabies kills more people a year in Africa (24000) and has a higher mortality rate once infection is established (nearly 100%).

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