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One of the world’s most prominent virus-hunters is Peter Piot, who co-discovered the Ebola virus in 1976.
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"We are living in the age of pandemics,” he says . . . the fundamental reason is that we failed to live in harmony with nature.”
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destruction of the natural world makes it more likely that new viruses will emerge and spill over into human populations.
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“It doesn’t matter if you are a gorilla or a human, if you have a disturbed forest, you have a shift,” says Fabian Leendertz, head of the Leendertz Lab at the Robert Koch Institute and Nobel’s PhD adviser. “You suddenly have diseases which become very abundant which were not abundant before.
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Developing futuristic broad vaccines and cataloguing every zoonotic virus on the planet are both compelling ideas — but many years away from becoming reality. What else can be done in the meantime? Addressing the environmental destruction at the root of many new diseases is one option, albeit a difficult one. The logging of the Amazon rainforest — another hotspot for disease emergence — is of particular concern right now for ecologists and epidemiologists.
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Researchers on the front lines say it is impossible to separate human health from the health of our natural world.
The clear link between deforestation and virus emergence suggests that a major effort to retain intact forest cover would have a large return on investment even if its only benefit was to reduce virus emergence events.
Restricting access to wildlife for food and other uses must consider indigenous peoples and those in remote communities for whom wildlife provides essential protein. In some parts of the world, reliance on migratory wildlife such as caribou and salmon motivates stewardship of large expanses of habitat. Although the right to traditional diets should be upheld, people can nonetheless be at risk from harvesting wildlife. These are food security issues that governments and development agencies should confront. Where needed, they must include education and awareness on animal handling, sanitation, and disease transmission as well as sustainable wildlife management and support to develop village-level alternative foods. Legal hunting and marketing of wildlife that meets basic nutritional requirements sustainably can be regulated to reduce the risk of emerging pandemics. Over time, culturally sensitive measures could ensure indigenous people's access to healthy diets and reduce pandemic risks.
Deforestation Causes Viral Pandemics
originally posted by: ketsuko
originally posted by: blueman12
What causes the most deforestation?
Maybe we just need less people. Less people = less of everything else that is harming the planet.