Animals Could Bring Yet Another Pandemic

What do COVID-19, Ebola, HIV, and SARS have in common? They all originated in animals—but their spread was enabled by human activity.
 

For scientists who study how human encroachment on wildlife habitats spurs the spread of disease, the current pandemic comes as little surprise, ABC News reports.

Hunting, trade, habitat degradation, and urban sprawl all help enable viruses circulating in animals to spread to humans, as shown in new research published this week.
 
Without a fundamental shift in how humans interact with animals, the next pandemic will be waiting in the wings, The Washington Post reports.

There’s an estimated 1.7 million unknown viruses lurking in wildlife,. 

Wild animal markets offer ample potential for crossover—raising a thorny debate about whether countries like China should be pressured to ban them altogether, as Anthony Fauci has suggested.

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2 comments

Barry Boyes
April 11, 2020

There appears to be accumulating evidence that cats, but apparently not dogs, are susceptible to infection by this virus. In high density environments of cats and humans, this could become a source of ongoing contagion. Mitigation efforts may need to include domestic and feral cat populations, or include needs to modify interactions between domestic animals, or with their human partners.

Bobby Tyson
April 13, 2020

So should we ban animal markets in the US?
Fish markets on the west and east coasts, and farm markets in the midwest?
County fairs? 4-H clubs?
Lets not leave out stockyards.

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