‘Tip of the iceberg’: Is our destruction of nature responsible for Covid-19?

by John Vidal, The Guardian


Highlights:

As humans continue to encroach on wildland for development, the exposure to more zoonotic diseases increases, which could cause more pandemics: 

  • As more people log, mine, and develop roads and towns in tropic forests and other important wildlife habitats, humans increase their chances of contracting diseases and unknown viruses
  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that three-quarters of new or emerging diseases that infect humans originate in animals
  • Zoonotic diseases that have infected humans in the past include ebola, SARS, MERS, rabies, lyme, and the plague
  • In 2008 researchers identified 335 diseases that emerged within the last 50 years and around 60% came from animals
  • Diseases are likely to spring up in both natural and urban environments as densely packed cities have bats and rodent populations that can carry viruses
  • “Wet markets” around the world selling wild animals and bushmeat along with produce have mass potential to be large hosts of various pathogens and zoonotic diseases 

The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder that we ignore the science at our own peril and early action saves lives.  To avert dire consequences in-state and to inspire greater climate action worldwide, California must accelerate its climate leadership and policy timelines now.


Read More: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/18/tip-of-the-iceberg-is-our-destruction-of-nature-responsible-for-covid-19-aoe

Nina Turner
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