Health Desk- 07 July, 2020: Zoonotic diseases - which jump from animals to humans - are increasing and will continue to do so without action to protect wildlife and preserve the environment, UN experts have warned.
They blame the rise in diseases such as Covid-19 on high demand for animal protein, unsustainable agricultural practices and climate change.
Neglected zoonotic diseases kill two million people a year, they say.
Covid-19 is set to cost the global economy $9tn (£7.2tn) over two years.
"In the last century we have seen at least six major outbreaks of novel coronaviruses," said Inger Andersen, under-secretary general and executive director of the UN Environment Programme.
Mentionable, Ebola, West Nile virus and Sars are also all zoonotic diseases: they started in animals, and made the jump to humans.