Why will the next pandemic be linked to global warming?

A new study explains how the joint migration of animals and humans, linked to global warming, will trigger new pandemics.

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

the Georgetown University Medical Department just published an investigation on the link between climate change and virus transmission, in the rating Nature

The rise in temperatures and the multiplication of phenomena weather forecast extremes have a known indirect impact on the development of epidemics : after’Hurricane Matthew that devastated Haiti in 2016, an epidemic of cholera affected children. After every typhoon in Asia, cases of dengue fever agent
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Collections of species that are not allowed to mix

But a new parameter should have more and more implications for human health: the movement of populations, both humans and animals. Global warming leads to more and morekind wild to migrate to new habitats, but wildlife often reach the same destinations as the human population. The relocation of different animal species and the human species to the same areas could lead to the next global pandemic: the proximity of different species mammals that should not meet will certainly lead to the transmission of thousands of viruses, according to the study. One of the most transmissible viruses between different mammalian species, Ebola and coronavirus easily migrate from animals to humans.

The study’s author, Colin Carlson, explains that the unhealthy conditions we currently experience in live animal markets are similar to those we might later find 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 started since the temperature rise reaches 1.2°C compared to the pre-industrial era.

Bat migration will certainly cause zoonoses

Researchers are particularly concerned about the effects of rising temperatures on bats† These small flying mammals are a natural reservoir of viruses such as Ebola and the various SARS. The fact that they are long-term hosts to viruses and can fly great 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 be promotedappearance news epidemics

According to the Georgetown researchers, the question is not whether these climate migrations will lead to new viruses (because it is almost certain), but how much these zoonoses will affect people. ebola, Zika and the COVID-19 have already proven the devastating effects of virus transmission between exotic animals and humans. The only solutions to the risks of new pandemics according to the authors: try to preserve the natural habitats of endangered fauna as much as possible, to ensure that they remain in their area of ​​origin for as long as possible, but also to protocol monitoring host species migrating to new destinations. † When a Brazilian bat decides to settle in the Appalachians of the United States, it is better to know what viruses it carries says Gregory Albery, one of the authors of the study.

Georgetown University researchers are convinced that the climate change is now the leading cause of the emergence of animal-human viruses, before the wildlife trade, the deforestation and intensive farming.

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