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Published: 11/11/2008
By: Rob Chaney

We can blame infected chickens or fruit bats or mosquitoes for the new crop of infectious diseases afflicting humans, but the most dangerous suspect may lurk in the mirror.

“Of the 450 wildlife-borne emerging diseases that have been investigated, we didn't find a single one that was not related to human behavior in some form,” said Peter Daszak, director of the Consortium for Conservation Medicine and this month's University of Montana presidential lecturer. In other words, while mosquitoes spread West Nile virus, humans spread mosquitoes.