Document Type


Publication Date



Emerging infectious diseases, most of which are considered zoonotic in origin, continue to exact a significant toll on society. The origins of major human infectious diseases are reviewed and the factors underlying disease emergence explored. Anthropogenic changes, largely in land use and agriculture, are implicated in the apparent increased frequency of emergence and reemergence of zoonoses in recent decades. Special emphasis is placed on the pathogen with likely the greatest zoonotic potential, influenzavirus A.