Zoonotic diseases are a particular problem in Asia. At least sixty percent of all emerging diseases start their life in animals. The diseases are known as zoonotic diseases.
Two French organisations are monitoring illnesses in animals, such as bird flu, in Cambodia to avoid outbreaks in humans.
In this film we look at the virus epidemics which start in animals and the scientists who are battling to stop them spreading to humans. The risk is most acute in Asia. This is where some of the most serious epidemics of recent times began. Diseases such as SARS and bird flu.
The scientists are developing surveillance methods across Cambodia, alongside the National Veterinary Research Institute and Village Animal Health Workers. They hope that monitoring illness in animals will avert outbreaks in humans.
But the way animals are raised in Asia can make that difficult. Many animals live in the same room as people.
Every year, two brans new viral diseases, capable of infecting humans, are reported. As many of forty could be discovered by 2020.
So collaboration between animal and human health experts has never been more important.