Climate change may increase risk of new infectious disease spreading species: Study – National | Nation World News

Climate change will result in the spread of thousands of new viruses to animal species by 2070 and could increase the risk of infectious diseases emerging from animals to humans, according to a new study.

Climate change may increase risk of new infectious disease spreading species: Study - National | Nation World News

This is especially true for Africa and Asia, continents that have been hotspots over the past several decades for deadly disease transmitted from humans to animals, including the flu, HIV, Ebola and the coronavirus.

The researchers, who published their findings Thursday in the journal Nature, used a model to test whether if the world warmed by 2 °C (3.6 °F), more than 3,000 mammal species could grow over the next 50 years. How can they migrate and share the virus? show is possible.

They found that cross-species viruses would spread more than 4,000 times in mammals alone. Birds and marine animals were not included in the study.

Not all viruses will spread to humans or become pandemics on the scale of a coronavirus, the researchers said, but the number of cross-species viruses increases the risk of spreading to humans.

The study highlights two global crises – climate change and infectious disease spread – as the world grapples with what to do about both.

Previous research has looked at how animal-human diseases are transmitted by deforestation and extinction and the wildlife trade, but there is less research on how climate change might affect this type of disease transmission, researchers Wednesday. said in a media briefing.

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“We don’t talk too much about climate in terms of zoonoses,” said study co-author Colin Carlson, assistant professor of biology at Georgetown University — diseases that can spread from animals to people. “Our study … brings together two of the most pressing global crises we have.”

Climate change and infectious disease experts agreed that a warming planet could increase the risk of new viruses emerging.

University of Nebraska State Museum biologist and co-author of the book “The Stockholm Paradigm: Climate Change and Emerging Diseases” Daniel R. Brooks said the study acknowledges the threat posed by climate change in the context of an increased risk of infectious diseases. ,

“This particular contribution is an extremely conservative estimate for potential” infectious disease spread due to climate change, Brooks said.

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Aaron Bernstein, a pediatrician and interim director of The Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said the study confirms longstanding doubts about the effect of warming on the emergence of infectious disease. Is.

“What is particularly worth noting is that studies indicate that these encounters may already be occurring with greater frequency and in places where many people live,” Bernstein said.

Study co-author Gregory Albery, a disease ecologist at Georgetown University, said that because the emergence of a climate-driven infectious disease is already occurring, the world needs to learn more about it and prepare for it. More effort should be made.

“It’s not preventable, even in the best-case climate change scenarios,” Albery said.

Carlson, who was also the author of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said we must reduce greenhouse gases and eliminate fossil fuels to reduce the risk of spreading infectious disease.

Jaron Brown, organizing director for the climate justice group Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, said the study sheds light on the climate injustices experienced by people living in African and Asian countries.

“As African and Asian countries face the greatest risk of increased exposure to the virus, it once again demonstrates how those on the frontline of the crisis have minimized climate change,” Brown said.

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