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Research shows animals in the wild benefit from physical distancing to prevent disease

Source: utsa.edu

Microorganisms living inside and on our body play a crucial role in both the maintenance of our health and the development of disease. Now researchers at UTSA have uncovered evidence about the importance of maintaining physical distance to minimise the spread of microbes among individuals.

The scientists observed monkeys in the wild to understand what role genetics, diet, social groupings and distance in a social network play when it comes to the microbes found inside an animal’s gut.

“Social microbial transmission among monkeys can help inform us about how diseases spread. This has parallels to our current situation in which we are trying to understand how social distancing during the COVID 19 pandemic and future disease outbreaks may influence disease transmission,” said Eva Wikberg, an assistant professor in UTSA’s Department of Anthropology who studies the interaction between ecology, behaviour and genetics in primates. MORE

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