Why Are We Seeing an Explosion of New Viruses Like Zika?

Zika virus, Ebola, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, Nipah virus, Hendra virus, bird flu, swine flu — these viruses have all grabbed international attention in recent years. In the past few decades the world has witnessed an alarming surge in emerging infectious diseases (EIDs). Since 1980, new pathogens have emerged in the human population at a rate of about three each year.