CHINA THE HOME OF VIRUSES
- Several deadly new viruses in recent years have emerged in China — Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), bird flu, and now the novel coronavirus (nCOV).
- A zoonosis (plural zoonoses, or zoonotic diseases) is an infectious disease caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites that spread between animals (usually vertebrates) and
DANGER OF ZOONOTIC VIRUS
- The Justinian Plague (541-542 AD), the Black Death (which started in Europe in 1347), yellow fever in South America in the 16th century, the global influenza pandemic in 1918, and modern pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, and triple- reassortant A H1N1 influenza have one thing in common: the causal organisms came to humans from animals.
DEATH TOLL OF THESE VIRUSES
- The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30% to 60% of Europe’s population.
- Yellow fever killed thousands
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that globally, about a billion cases of illness and millions of deaths occur every year from zoonoses, i.e, diseases and infections naturally transmitted between people and vertebrate animals.
- Some 60% of emerging infectious diseases globally are Of the over 30 new human pathogens detected over the last three decades, 75% originated in animals.
- Wherever there is close mixing of humans and animals, especially the unregulated handling of blood and other body products, as happens for example in China’s animal markets, there are greater chances of transmission of a virus from animals to humans, and its mutation to adapt to the human body
DR K S REDDY, FORMER PROFESSOR OF AIIMS AND PRESIDENT OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH FOUNDATION OF INDIA (PHFI)
- “Proximity to animals grows from wild food markets and captive animal breeding, with deforestation creating a conveyor belt for viruses and vectors to move from wildlife to captive animals, and from them to humans.The wild food markets in China offer both a mix of many animals which harbour deadly viruses, and an opportunity to transmit with ease to crowds of humans whose taste for a diversity of wild as well as close-bred animals provides a conveyor belt for animal-to-human transmission.
- Once the virus gains entry into humans who travel and transport animals, the infection spreads,” Dr Reddy said.
ECOLOGY OF INFECTIONS
- With a population of nearly 1.4 billion and 50% of the world’s livestock (livestock – any animals kept for use or profit)
- China’s ecology poses a risk for emerging, re-emerging, and novel diseases that could threaten China and the rest of the world, says the US federal agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Bill Gates even wrote in 2017 that he considers a deadly pandemic to be one of the world’s three biggest threats, next to climate change and nuclear war.
- “In the case of biological threats, that sense of urgency is lacking,” Gates said in a presentation the following year. “The world needs to prepare for pandemics in the same serious way it prepares for war.”