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Evolutionary Medicine is the application of the principles of evolution to the fields of medicine, public health, and other health professions. Inherently interdisciplinary in nature, Evolutionary Medicine integrates basic science – and provides a firm understanding of the core concepts of evolutionary thinking and analysis, and places disease in the context of changing environments, exposures, and the encompassing ecology of life in which an individual is embedded. While evolution is already a foundational basic science of the life sciences, evolutionary medicine is a new way of thinking that integrates perspectives across traditionally siloed disciplines of public health and medicine.
Viruses walk a fine line between severity and transmissibility. If they are too virulent, they kill or incapacitate their hosts; this limits their ability to infect new hosts. Conversely, viruses that cause little harm may not be generating enough copies of themselves to be infectious.