In which countries can they break out?

In which countries can they break out?

For millennia, the “bat virus” they lived in the forests of West Africa, India, South America and other parts of the world. They were however very little threat to humanity… Until today.

According new Reuters data analysis, also today more and more people are encroaching on habitats at least bats 113 countriesthe risk of a new virus emerging to infect humans increases, given that the pathogenic strains transmitted by bats are an “epidemiological minefield”…

Bats are associated with many of the deadliest disease outbreaks events over the past half-century, including the pandemic coronaviruswhich is believed to have killed at least 7 million people and has its “roots” in a family of bat-borne coronaviruses.

Examine where the next pandemic could appearthe agency analyzed two decades of disease incidence data as well as environmental data to identify the parts of the planet most vulnerable to “zoonotic spread(a term used for the jump of a virus from one species to another). Viruses jump from bats to humans either through a proxy hostlike a pig or a chimpanzee, or more directly by human contact with bat urine, droppings, blood or saliva.

Reuters reporters spoke to dozens of scientistsread extensive academic research and traveled to countries with large bat populations to learn how human destruction of wild areas amplifies the risk of a new pandemic.

The investigation revealed a global economic system in conflict with nature, endangers human health as bat-rich forests are cleared to make way for farms, mines, roads and other types of development.

The seven findings of the research

  • Reuters has identified more than 9 million square kilometers on Earth where conditions in 2020 were conducive to the spread of a virus, which is transmitted by bats, and could potentially trigger a new pandemic. These areas, which he named “jump zones”cover the whole world, covering 6% of Earth’s land mass. It is mainly under rapid urbanization tropical regions (which are home to a large population of bats).
  • Almost 1.8 billion people lived in areas at high risk of transmission in 2020. That’s 57% more people living in jump zones than two decades ago, raising the risk of a deadly bat virus spreading. Besides, these people live closer to each other, increasing the chances that a disease outbreak will turn into a fast-spreading global pandemic.
  • Reuters analysis also revealed high risk in areas such as Chinawhere the Covid-19 appeared, the neighbor Peoplewhere scientists have identified the closest relatives of the species responsible for the current pandemic, the Indiawhere half a billion people live in “jump zones” and Brazilwhich has the most land at risk of all the other countries, because the Amazon is rampant.
  • “The catalyst for epidemics is not the behavior of bats”, say the scientists, “but ours”. The thirst for resources – iron ore, gold, cocoa and rubber- leads to uncontrolled development in “wild areas” and increases the risk of global pandemics through increased contact with animals. Areas called “jump zones” have lost 21% of their tree cover in nearly two decadeswhich is twice the overall rate.
  • This kind of “pressure” on once-remote forest lands allows viruses to spread and mutate as they hop between animal species and, ultimately, humans. The mortal Nipah virus in recent decades it has been transmitted from Asiatic bats to pigs and from pigs to humans. More recently, Nipah virus has been shown to infect humans directly through contact with the body fluids of bats.
  • Humanity is destroying vital habitats before scientists can study them. The development not only brings humans closer to pathogens that could have pandemic potential, but also eliminates secrets that nature may hold that could be invaluable to science. For example, the ability of bats to live with many viruses without succumbing to many of them, which can be deadly to other mammals, could knowledge important to creating vaccines, drugs, or other innovations.
  • Governments and companies do not seem to take the aforementioned risk seriously. In the rich in bat GuineaTHE Sierra LeoneTHE LiberiaTHE Ivory Coast and the Ghana – where Reuters estimated the risk of a pandemic to be among the highest in the world – pending applications for mining and similar projects are expected to double the area already used for this purpose, bringing the total to 400,000 square kilometers, an area larger than Germany. Almost a third of this expansion will take place in existing “jump zones”, where the risk of the disease spreading is already high.

As Reuters points out, although these countries require mining companies to assess the potential environmental damage their new projects could cause, none require assessment of the risk of disease spread.

Follow the news 24/7 on Google News and be the first to know all the news

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *