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UN Warns of Future Pandemics: “More and More Diseases of Animal Origin May Arise”

What Happened?

While science and medicine are working around the clock to find a vaccine that fights the Covid-19 pandemic that has killed more than 530,000 people worldwide, the United Nations (UN) is conducting studies and investigations to alert future pandemics.

“More and more diseases of animal origin may arise. It is necessary to act quickly to address the scientific information deficit and accelerate the development of knowledge ”, starts this report entitled“ Preventing the next pandemic ”, published this Monday by the UN Program for the Environment (UNEP) and the International Institute of Research on Livestock (ILRI).

“The science is clear: if we continue to exploit the environment and destroy our ecosystems, we can expect a constant flow of diseases that jump from animals to humans in the coming years”, considers the director of the UN Environment, Inger Andersen, who assured that we will have to implement a balance to prevent further outbreaks of uncontrollable disease.

Studies and Research

The UN has carried out a series of scientific studies and evaluations “to study the role that wild and domestic animals play in the development of infectious zoonoses.”

In this document, the organization has highlighted that infections transmitted from animals to people are becoming more frequent, putting the well-being of human life at risk.

According to the study, “it is estimated that around 60% of human infections have an animal origin. About 75% of all new and emerging human infectious diseases are transmitted between animal species and reach people. Most of the zoonoses described occur indirectly, for example, through the food system, “they emphasize.

The report also highlights what could be the seven factors that have caused the increase in these diseases:

Increased demand for animal protein.
The unsustainable intensification of agriculture.
Increased use and exploitation of wild species.
The unsustainable use of natural resources, accelerated by urbanization, the change in land use and the extractive industry.
Increased travel and transportation.
Alterations in the food supply.
Climate change.

Solutions Proposed

The solutions proposed for the moment by the UN are to continue with the investigations that lead to a clear conclusion of the path that must be followed to stop future pandemics.

They claim that this report brings together expertise from doctors, veterinarians, and the environment, which will help governments, business, and civil society achieve enduring health for people, animals, and the environment alike.

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