The Kingdom of Cambodia, bordered by Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, has an estimated 16.946 million people. The terrain includes low, flat plains and mountains in the north and southwest.
Deforestation, urbanization and economics, agriculture and land use, and other factors have put humans in closer and more frequent contact with wildlife and put humans at greater risk for zoonotic viral spillovers. Forest cover is approximately 46 percent, and Cambodia has the fifth fastest rate of deforestation globally. Nearly 13 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line, and about 90 percent of the poor live in the countryside. About half of the labor force is employed in agriculture, and over the last two decades, income inequality has increased, and gaps remain between urban and rural residents.
STOP Spillover in Cambodia will work with stakeholders to consider priority spillover interfaces and zoonotic viral pathogens. Pathogens may include:
- Highly pathogenic avian influenza, given the number of documented prior outbreaks in Cambodia
- Nipah virus, given the high density of host bats, bat guano collection, recent reports of Nipah virus in fruit bats, and farming practices likely to allow Nipah spillover