Why will the next pandemic be associated with global warming?

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[EN VIDÉO] Wild animals in the face of global warming
Even very small changes in the climate can greatly affect the biodiversity of an area and even lead to the extinction of animals. That’s why CLS, which specializes in wildlife protection, strives to monitor vulnerable species such as the king penguin or seal elephant daily and via satellite. Here is a video overview of the work being done in the Arctic.

that Georgetown University Medical Department has just published a study on the link between climate change and the transmission of viruses, in review Nature.

The temperature rise and the multiplication of phenomena Forecast extremes have one well-known indirect influence on the development of epidemics : after’Hurricane Matthew which destroyed Haiti in 2016, an epidemic of cholera affected children. After each typhoon in Asia, case of dengue fever multiply. A hot and humid climate affects the reproduction of mosquitoes and leads to an increased risk ofepidemics of malariabut also of chikungunya.

Assemblies of species that should not be mixed

But a new parameter should have more and more consequences for human health: the movement of populations, both humans and animals. The heating of the earth causes more and more wildlife to migrate to new habitats, but wildlife often reaches the same destinations as the human population. Moving different animal and human species to the same areas could lead to the next global pandemic: the proximity of several species of mammal which are not supposed to meet will definitely lead to the transmission of thousands of viruses according to the study. Among the most contagious viruses between different species of mammals, Ebola and coronavirus easily migrate from animals to humans.

The author of the study Colin Carlson explains that the unhealthy conditions we currently experience in markets for live animals can be compared to those we can find later in the areas occupied by climate refugees: in both cases we find gatherings of different species that should not be brought together. These climatic migrations have already begun since the temperature rise reached 1.2 ° C compared to the pre-industrial era.

Bat migration will definitely cause zoonoses

Researchers are particularly concerned about the effects of rising temperatures on bat. These small flying mammals are a natural reservoir of viruses such as Ebola and the various SARS. The fact that they are long-lasting hosts for viruses and can fly long distances makes them particularly dangerous in climate migration. Due to the great diversity ofbat species and its vulnerability to climate change, Southeast Asia (China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, etc.) is the area most likely to promoteappearance news epidemics.

According to Georgetown researchers, the question is not whether these climatic migrations will lead to new viruses (because it is almost certain), but rather how much these zoonoser will affect people. Ebola, Zika and Covid-19 has already proven the devastating effects of virus transmission between exotic animals and humans. The only solutions to limit the risks of new ones pandemic according to the authors: try to preserve the natural habitats of endangered fauna as much as possible, to ensure that they stay as long as possible in their area of ​​origin, but also to establish a protocol monitoring of host species migrating to new destinations. ” When a Brazilian bat decides to settle in the Appalachian region of the United States, you better know what viruses it carries “, Specifies Gregory Albery, one of the authors of the study.

Researchers at Georgetown University are convinced that climate change is now the main cause of the emergence of animal-human viruses, prior to the trade in wild animals, deforestation andAgriculture intensive.

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