A new study estimates it will cost tens of billions of dollars a year to prevent the next global pandemic.
The study published in the journal Science says more oversight of legal and illegal wildlife trade and cutting back on deforestation are critical to reducing future disease spillover from animals to humans.
The researchers note how Ebola, SARS and COVID-19 all likely originated in bats. These animals are more likely to come into contact with human populations "when their forest habitats are disturbed." The study also recommends more investments in early disease detection and control programs to help stem the chances of larger outbreaks, as well as hasten vaccine development.
Researchers estimate the cost to implement all of these measures to be around $22 billion to $31 billion a year. Despite the hefty price tag, the report notes that the amount is a far cry from the trillions of dollars in damages globally caused by the coronavirus pandemic.