Coronavirus: Exploiting nature 'drives outbreaks of new diseases'

New evidence has emerged of a link between our impact on nature and pandemics sweeping the world.

New evidence has emerged of a link between human exploitation of nature and pandemics.

Close contact with wild animals through hunting, trade or habitat loss puts the world at increased risk of outbreaks of new diseases, say scientists.

Coronavirus is thought to have originated in bats, with other wild animals, possibly pangolins, playing a role in transmission to humans.

There are strong indications of a wildlife source and a link to trade.

In the latest study, researchers trawled scientific papers for reports of diseases that have crossed from animals to humans, then combined this data with information on extinction risk compiled by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

Wild animals at risk of extinction due to human exploitation were found to carry over twice as many viruses that can cause human disease as threatened species listed for other reasons. The same was true for threatened species at risk due to loss of habitat.

"As natural habitat is diminished, wildlife come into closer contact with people," Dr Christine Johnson of the University of California, Davis, US, told BBC News,

 

"Wildlife also shift their distributions to accommodate anthropogenic activities and modification of the natural landscape. This has hastened disease emergence from wildlife, which put us at risk of pandemics because we are all globally connected through travel and trade."

Wild animals on the edge of extinction are few in number and generally pose a low risk of passing on infectious diseases, said Dr Johnson, except where human exploitation and habitat loss puts them in close contact with humans.

"Exploitation of wildlife, which has caused once abundant wildlife to decline in numbers, through hunting and trading in wildlife, have endangered species survival and also put humans at risk of emerging infectious disease," she said.

Scientists have long drawn attention to human diseases that have originated in animals, including Sars, Mers and Ebola. In the wake of coronavirus, there is growing awareness that human health is linked both with animal health and the health of the planet as a whole.

A wide range of organisations are calling for curbs on wild animal trade to reduce risks to human health. Dr Johnson said wild animals sold in busy markets where animals and people mix present an opportunity for diseases to jump between species that would normally never come together in the natural world.

"Disease emergence that occurs anywhere can affect us all and we need to all understand the impact we are having when we interact with wildlife, realise that disease emergence is an environmental issue, and find more sustainable ways to co-exist."

The research is published in the journal Royal Society Proceedings B. BBC

Coronavirus: Putting the spotlight on the global wildlife trade

Coronavirus: Putting the spotlight on the global wildlife trade

Conservation experts say the pandemic is a watershed moment for curbing global wildlife trade.

 
 

Other News

.
Nghe An police uncover wildlife trafficking ring from Lao to Vietnam
Nghe An police uncover wildlife trafficking ring from Lao to Vietnam
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  25/06/2020 

Police in the central province of Nghe An on Tuesday seized a man carrying dozens of animals which were allegedly smuggled from Laos to Vietnam for consumption in Chau Binh Commune, in the province’s Quy Chau District.

Minister calls for forest protection and management efforts
Minister calls for forest protection and management efforts
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  25/06/2020 

Central Highlands localities need to raise the responsibility among forest owners and management to improve protection and development of the areas.

Apple makes concessions to App Store developers
Apple makes concessions to App Store developers
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  24/06/2020 

The tech giant will approve bug fixes to disputed apps and let developers appeal against its rulings.

Japanese supercomputer, crowned world's fastest, is fighting coronavirus
Japanese supercomputer, crowned world's fastest, is fighting coronavirus
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  24/06/2020 

The newly crowned Fugaku system is analysing droplet spread in offices and public transport.

Ex-Googler becomes China’s second-richest person
Ex-Googler becomes China’s second-richest person
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  24/06/2020 

Colin Huang prospered after leaving US company, thanks to his e-commerce business, Pinduoduo.

Vietnam attends ‘2020 Collision from Home’ tech conference
Vietnam attends ‘2020 Collision from Home’ tech conference
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  24/06/2020 

The 2020 Collision from Home, dubbed as the “Olympics of Tech” by the US’s Politico newswire, is live from June 23-25, attracting over 32,000 from more than 140 countries and territories.

Data stealing spyware rears head in Vietnam
Data stealing spyware rears head in Vietnam
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  24/06/2020 

VN84App, a spyware capable of penetrating smartphones and stealing personal user data, has emerged in Vietnam.

Mekong Delta adapts to saline intrusion
Mekong Delta adapts to saline intrusion
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  24/06/2020 

Nguyen Hoang Hiep, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, talks to the Government's website chinhphu.vn on the need to develop plans to reduce the negative impacts of drought, salinity and land subsidence in the Mekong Delta.

Quang Ninh thermal power plant accused of causing air pollution
Quang Ninh thermal power plant accused of causing air pollution
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  23/06/2020 

Quang Ninh Province People's Committee was asked to investigate the case where many households accuse a local thermal plant of causing air pollution.

Quang Nam Beach covered in rubbish
Quang Nam Beach covered in rubbish
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  23/06/2020 

Over 1km of beach in Tam Hai Island, Quang Nam Province, is completely covered in rubbish swept in by the tides.

HCM City targets 1,000 MWp of rooftop solar power at industrial zones by 2024
HCM City targets 1,000 MWp of rooftop solar power at industrial zones by 2024
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  23/06/2020 

HCM City aims to have 1,000 MWp of rooftop solar power capacity installed by 2024 in its industrial parks, export processing zones and high-tech parks, up from 700MWp now.

Vietnam effectively curbs impacts of drought, saline intrusion in Mekong Delta
Vietnam effectively curbs impacts of drought, saline intrusion in Mekong Delta
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  23/06/2020 

Mekong Delta provinces have experienced the most severe drought and saline intrusion ever in the dry season 2019-2020 but the negative impacts on agriculture production and daily life were minimised significantly thanks to effective measures,

Tracing waste a new approach for communities
Tracing waste a new approach for communities
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  24/06/2020 

Once a bag of garbage is thrown away, what actually happens to it is a mystery to many. 

Startup uses high tech to popularize hat boi
Startup uses high tech to popularize hat boi
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  24/06/2020 

Renewing hat boi (classical Vietnamese drama) with technology has increased interest in the art among young people as well as tourists.

Vietnam’s network sharing deal a boon for future telco collaborations: Fitch Solutions
Vietnam’s network sharing deal a boon for future telco collaborations: Fitch Solutions
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  22/06/2020 

Vietnam’s four State-owned mobile operators – Viettel, VNPT-Vinaphone, GMobile and MobiFone – have just agreed to share some 1,200 base transceiver stations (BTS), 

Users urged to be careful when using Facebook ‘gender swap’
Users urged to be careful when using Facebook ‘gender swap’
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  22/06/2020 

FaceApp’s "gender swap" filter has generated the hashtag "#faceappchallenge" and received hundreds of thousands of shares on Facebook and Instagram, raising concerns about security and the risk of sharing this information.

Central Highlands targets 49.2 percent in forest coverage in 2030
Central Highlands targets 49.2 percent in forest coverage in 2030
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  22/06/2020 

The Central Highlands region aims to raise its forest coverage to 49.2 percent, and forest area to 2.72 million hectares by 2030.

Rare annular solar eclipse visible in Hanoi, Danang, Hung Yen
Rare annular solar eclipse visible in Hanoi, Danang, Hung Yen
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  22/06/2020 

Hanoi, the central city of Da Nang and Hung Yen city saw a rare annular solar eclipse occur on the afternoon of Jun 21, with residents in the capital being able to see the partial eclipse covering nearly 21% of the sun.

AI-based Vietnamese-language voice solutions launched
AI-based Vietnamese-language voice solutions launched
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  20/06/2020 

The Ministry of Information and Communications launched two Vietnamese-language speech-to-text generator VAIS and text-to-speech engine Vbee during a ceremony in Hanoi on June 19.

Dolphin stuns beachgoers at Cam Ranh Bay
Dolphin stuns beachgoers at Cam Ranh Bay
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  20/06/2020 

A large dolphin has paid a rare visit to the shallow waters of Cam Ranh Bay in the south central coastal province of Khanh Hoa.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN