Zoonotic and vector-borne infectious diseases, as well as antimicrobial resistance, are a major threat to the Indo-Pacific region’s health and economic security.
The Indo-Pacific is a hotspot for zoonotic diseases, with more than a million people in it dying as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic alone. We’ve found an average of two new viruses are appearing in humans each year and that the Coronaviridae, Flaviviridae, Togaviridae, Orthomyxoviridae and Paramyxoviridae virus families are likely to be the source of the next pandemic.
Vector-borne diseases also continue to be a major threat to the Indo-Pacific. More than 400 million people in the region are vulnerable to malaria, a situation made worse by high levels of insecticide resistant mosquito species.
At the same time more than 1.27 million people a year die world-wide from drug-resistant infections.
This risk from infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance will continue to grow – fuelled by human impacts and environmental pressures such as climate change, deforestation, and urbanisation.
Many Indo-Pacific countries lack the laboratory and detection systems needed to control transmission of biothreats. The developing Infectious Disease Resilience mission aims to help them build this capacity.