Photo: Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images

Scientists say accelerating deforestation could lead to increased human contact with pandemic diseases, and could also worsen the current coronavirus pandemic, NPR reports.

What's happening: Money and resources for monitoring tropical forests in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America have been transferred to help fight the pandemic, turning a blind eye toward illegal deforestation activities like logging and mining.

  • “There are several pathogens that once you have a deforestation event then you get spillover and you don’t know whether that’s because we’re losing biodiversity that otherwise would kind of help dilute that pathogen, or if it's humans coming into the area and increasing their risky behaviors," Christina Faust, postdoctoral scholar Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State University, told NPR.

The bottom line: Researchers believe 75% of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. Eliminating ecosystems means emerging pathogens have fewer and fewer non-humans to infect.

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Where potential coronavirus vaccines stand in the U.S.

Table: Axios Visuals

Four vaccines for the novel coronavirus are now in late-stage testing in people in the United States.

Driving the news: Johnson & Johnson announced yesterday it began a phase 3 clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

18 hours ago - Health

Young people accounted for 20% of coronavirus cases this summer

Hundreds of beachgoers pack in without social distancing in July. Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

People in their 20s accounted for more than 20% of all COVID-19 cases between June and August, analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows, bringing the median age of coronavirus patients to 37, down from 46 in the spring.

Why it matters: Young people are less vulnerable to serious illness, but they contributed to community spread over the summer, the analysis says — meaning they likely infected older, higher-risk people, especially in the South.

Coronavirus cases rise in 22 states

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Texas added a backlog of cases on Sept. 22, removing that from the 7-day average Texas' cases increased 28.3%; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The coronavirus is surging once again across the U.S., with cases rising in 22 states over the past week.

The big picture: There isn't one big event or sudden occurrence that explains this increase. We simply have never done a very good job containing the virus, despite losing 200,000 lives in just the past six months, and this is what that persistent failure looks like.