How Do New Diseases Like COVID-19 Originate In Wildlife Markets?

How Do New Diseases Like COVID-19 Originate In Wildlife Markets?

As Ferris Jabr explains in frightening detail in The New York Times Magazine, bats are “planets unto themselves, teeming with invisible ecosystems of fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Many of the viruses multiplying within the bats had circulated among their hosts for thousands of years, if not longer, using bat cells to replicate but rarely causing severe illness.”

Why This Matters: The hunter, by snatching the bats from their cave and selling them as food, he gave the viruses inside the bats a whole new world to inhabit in humans. 

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One Fun Thing: Is DC Going Batty?

One Fun Thing: Is DC Going Batty?

Of course, it is — but not for the reason you think!  Washington, D.C. may not be a state (though it should be) but there is a proposal to name the “Little Brown Bat” as D.C.’s official “state” mammal. Bats have been the subject of much negative attention thanks to their connection to coronavirus, but […]

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Climate Change Greatly Increases The Risk That Ebola Will Spread

Climate Change Greatly Increases The Risk That Ebola Will Spread

According to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, the climate crisis will bring a 1.75 to 3.2-fold increase by 2070 in the rate at which the deadly Ebola virus spreads from animals to humans and the risk that it would spread to the U.S. also increases.

Why This Matters:  The estimates of global deaths that will be attributable to climate change just keep going up. The climate crisis could, in fact, “halt and reverse” all the progress made in human health over the past century. 

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