The interaction between animals and humans has always been complex, from harmonious coexistence to the emergence of diseases. THE zoonoses, conditions passed from animals to humans, are on the rise according to a recent study, and the future looks worrisome. Current dynamics suggest that on the horizon 2050the consequences could be 12 times more dramatic than the current ones.
In a research published in BMJ Global Healthfour zoonoses have been particularly studied: filovirusassociated with diseases like Ebola; THE SARS-CoV-1, precursor to SARS; as well as viruses Nipah I Machupo. Retrospective analysis of epidemics occurring between 1963 and 2019 revealed an annual increase of 5% in epidemics and 9% in deaths related to these diseases. Extrapolating these trends suggests that we could see a fourfold increase in infections and a twelvefold increase in deaths by 2050 compared to 2020.
Worse if we consider covid-19
What is even more worrying is that these estimates do not include the recent Covid-19 pandemic, caused by another virus of animal origin, SARS-CoV-2. Add the impact of this pandemic and the numbers could be even more alarming.
Therefore, the need for intervention is felt. In addition to the researchers’ recommendations, external factors could accentuate the appearance of zoonoses: deforestation (understand the destruction of the natural habitats of animals), intensification of breeding practicesTHE wildlife trade and the globalization of trade as potential accelerators of the increase in zoonoses.
Wars could also weigh in the balance
It is also important to take into account the socio-political consequences, such as armed conflicts, which can facilitate the spread of these diseases by destabilizing health infrastructures.
Faced with this emergency, global awareness is essential. With 75% of new animal pathologies that can affect humans, according to a French source, it is more than ever the time for prevention and the search for sustainable solutions.