Volume 103, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the multidimensional and inseparable connection between human health and environmental systems. COVID-19, similar to other emerging zoonotic diseases, has had a devastating impact on our planet. In this perspective, we argue that as humans continue to globalize and encroach on our surrounding natural systems, societies must adopt a “planetary health lens” to prepare and adapt to these emerging infectious diseases. This piece further explores other critical components of a planetary health approach to societal response, such as the seasonality of disease patterns, the impact of climate change on infectious disease, and the built environment, which can increase population vulnerabilities to pandemics. To address planetary health threats that cross international borders, such as COVID-19, societies must practice interdependence sovereignty and direct resources to organizations that facilitate shared global governance, and thus can enable us to adapt and ultimately build a more resilient world.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Whitmee S et al., 2015. Safeguarding human health in the anthropocene epoch: report of The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on planetary health. Lancet 386: 19732028.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Plowright RK et al., 2015. Ecological dynamics of emerging bat virus spillover. Proc Biol Sci 282: 20142124.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Chua KB, 2003. Nipah virus outbreak in Malaysia. J Clin Virol 26: 265275.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Ryan SJ, Carlson CJ, Mordecai EA, Johnson LR, 2019. Global expansion and redistribution of Aedes-borne virus transmission risk with climate change. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 13: e0007213.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Lowen AC, Steel J, 2014. Roles of humidity and temperature in shaping influenza seasonality. J Virol 88: 76927695.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Moriyama M, Hugentobler WJ, Iwasaki A, 2020. Seasonality of respiratory viral infections. Annu Rev Virol 7: 2.12.19.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, Holick MF, Grant WB, Madronich S, Garland CF, Giovannucci E, 2006. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect 134: 11291140.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Lowen A, Palese P, 2009. Transmission of influenza virus in temperate zones is predominantly by aerosol, in the tropics by contact: a hypothesis. PLoS Curr 1: RRN1002.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Mehra M, Dasai S, Kuy S, Henry T, Patel A, 2020. Cardiovascular disease, drug therapy, and mortality in covid-19. NEJM [Epub ahead of print].
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Wise PH, Barry M, 2017. Civil war and the global threat of pandemics. Daedalus 146: 7184.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 06 May 2020
  • Accepted : 07 May 2020
  • Published online : 18 May 2020
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error