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The rising risk of cross species viral transmission

  • Published
    4th May, 2022
Context

According to a study published in the journal Nature, Climate change will result in thousands of new viruses spread among animal species and this will increase the risk of emerging infectious diseases jumping from animals to humans.

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Findings of the study

  • A model was used to examine how over the next 50 years around 3,000 mammal species might migrate to new environments, taking their parasites and pathogens with them and share viruses among species if the global temperature rises by 2 degrees Celsius.
  • Researchers found that cross-species virus spread will happen over 4,000 times among mammals alone.
  • These novel virus sharing events are predicted to be driven predominantly by bats, which are likely to harbour viruses with a high chance of being transmissible to humans.
  • The greatest threat of increased virus exposure will be faced by African and Asian countries who had little to do with inducing climate change.
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