Home News Covid-19, Zika… the zoonoses responsible for new pandemics

Covid-19, Zika… the zoonoses responsible for new pandemics

While they have multiplied in recent years, zoonoses still risk causing damage, and even causing other pandemics in the future.

Covid-19, Zika… zoonoses responsible for new pandemics

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Covid-19 is far from being the last pandemic of our generation. In recent years, there have been Sras, Mers, then Ebola, avian flu, Zika, HIV and lately, monkeypox. Favored by our lifestyles, zoonoses, diseases transmitted to humans by animals, have multiplied, raising fears of the emergence of new pandemics.

“The interface between man and 'animal has become quite unstable,” said World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Manager Dr. Mike Ryan a few days ago. “Disease emergence and amplifying factors have increased,” he said. We have just seen it with monkey pox, but not only, he warned.

This monkeypox, “monkeypox” in English, caused by a virus transmitted to humans by infected animals, most often rodents, is the latest example of the multiplication of these zoonoses. These are infectious diseases that vertebrate animals can transmit to humans. Some even end up becoming specifically human, like Covid-19. According to the World Organization for Animal Health, approximately 60% of emerging diseases are of zoonotic origin. Appeared thousands of years ago, since man intensified his interactions with animals by domesticating them, they have seen their frequency greatly increase over the last twenty or thirty years.


In question, “the intensification of travel, which allows them to spread more quickly and in an uncontrolled manner”, underlined to AFP Marc Eloit, head of the laboratory discovery of pathogens at the Institut Pasteur. By occupying increasingly large areas of the globe, humans also contribute to disrupting the ecosystem and promoting the transmission of viruses.

The intensification of factory farming thus increases the risk of the spread of pathogens between animals. The wildlife trade also increases human exposure to the microbes they may carry. Deforestation increases the risk of contact between wildlife, domestic animals and human populations. “When we deforest, we decrease biodiversity; we lose animals that naturally regulate viruses, which allows them to spread more easily, “explained to AFP Benjamin Roche, biologist at the Research Institute for Development (IRD), specialist in zoonoses.

Climate change will also push many animals to flee their ecosystems for more livable lands, warned a study published in Nature at the end of April. However, by mixing more, the species will transmit their viruses more, which will promote the emergence of new diseases potentially transmissible to humans.

“We need improved surveillance in both urban and wild animals, so we can identify when a pathogen has jumped from one species to another,” said Gregory Albery, environmental health specialist at the Georgetown University in the United States and co-author of the study. “And if the receiving host is urban or in close proximity to humans, we should be particularly concerned.

“Be Prepared”

The study paints a future “network” of viruses jumping from species to species, and growing as the planet warms. “Today we have easy and quick means of investigation that allow us to react quickly in the event of the appearance of new viruses,” reassured Marc Eloit, of the Institut Pasteur. “We are also able to develop vaccines very quickly,” as we saw with Covid-19. But “a whole line of new, potentially dangerous diseases is likely to emerge. We will have to be ready, ”warned Éric Fèvre, professor specializing in veterinary infectious diseases at the University of Liverpool (United Kingdom) and the International Livestock Research Institute (Kenya). This means, he says, “focusing on the public health of populations” in the most remote environments and “better studying the ecology of these natural areas to understand how different species interact”.

Since the beginning of the 2000s, the “One Health” concept has been put forward: it promotes a multidisciplinary and global approach to health issues with close links between human health, that of animals and the environment. overall ecological status. France also launched in 2021 the international initiative Prezode, which aims to prevent the risks of zoonotic emergences and pandemics by strengthening cooperation with the most affected regions of the world.

Teilor Stone
Teilor Stonehttps://thesaxon.org
Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Bobr Times, Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my [email protected] 1-800-268-7116

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