CLIMATE CHANGE COULD LEAD TO THE NEXT PANDEMIC

 CLIMATE CHANGE COULD LEAD TO THE NEXT PANDEMIC

laboratoryequipment.com

This link between climate change and viral transmission is described by an international research team led by scientists at Georgetown University and is published on April 28 in Nature.

As Earth’s climate continues to warm, researchers predict wild animals will be forced to relocate their habitats likely to regions with large human populations dramatically increasing the risk of a viral jump to humans that could lead to the next pandemic.

In their study, the scientists conducted the first comprehensive assessment of how climate change will restructure the global mammalian virome.

The work focuses on geographic range shifts the journeys that species will undertake as they follow their habitats into new areas. As they encounter other mammals for the first time, the study projects they will share thousands of viruses.

They say these shifts bring greater opportunities for viruses like Ebola or coronaviruses to emerge in new areas, making them harder to track, and into new types of animals, making it easier for viruses to jump across a “stepping stone” species into humans.

Author Gregory Albery said, “It’s unclear exactly how these new viruses might affect the species involved, but it’s likely that many of them will translate to new conservation risks and fuel the emergence of novel outbreaks in humans.”

Altogether, the study suggests that climate change will become the biggest upstream risk factor for disease emergence exceeding higher-profile issues like deforestation, wildlife trade, and industrial agriculture.

The authors say the solution is to pair wildlife disease surveillance with real-time studies of environmental change.

Karabelo Moncho

Related post