A little-known bacterial disease may be killing as many people worldwide as measles, scientists said on Monday, while a mosquito-borne virus known as Zika is also raising global alarm. The spread of Ebola in West Africa last year shows how poorly-understood diseases can emerge and grow rapidly while researchers race to design and conduct the scientific studies needed to combat them.

Researchers in the journal Nature Microbiology called for a bacterial infection called meliodosis, which is resistant to a wide range of antibiotics, to be given a higher priority by international health organizations and policy makers.

At the same time, scientists at Britain’s Oxford University warned that a virus known as Zika, which is carried by mosquitoes and has caused a major outbreak in Brazil, has “the potential of rapid spread to new areas”. FULL REPORT