Coronavirus: three misconceptions about how animals transmit diseases debunked

Sunday, Nov 04 0 6068
Coronavirus: three misconceptions about how animals transmit diseases debunked Wikipedia, Avril 2020

As global COVID-19 cases top two million, it’s humbling to remember that it all started when one person got infected by one wild animal

We may never find out precisely where or when it occurred, nor the animal which was responsible. But we do know that these “spillover events” are the starting points of many outbreaks, from influenza to HIV and from SARS to COVID-19.

Zoonotic diseases are caused by pathogens which originate in other animal species. Some diseases, such as rabies, cause sporadic outbreaks, often self-contained but deadly and traumatising for the communities they infect. Others manage to spread worldwide and become pandemic, circulating in the global population. Some are repeat offenders that re-emerge from animal hosts in a mutated form every few decades – think influenza, plague and cholera.

Many others are now part of our burden of endemic diseases, such as measles, mumps or HIV. The coronavirus causing COVID-19 is closely related to those that caused the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) pandemic in 2003. Despite speculation, it’s too early to tell whether COVID-19 will disappear within a year or stay with us permanently like the flu.

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Last modified on Friday, 17 April 2020 15:47
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