Australian news, and some related international items

Coronavirus likely to be connected to climate change – bats the likely first vector

The Wuhan Coronavirus, Climate Change, and Future Epidemics…...TIME, 10 Feb 2020, 

“………The strain of coronavirus that’s spreading now is different than Candida for many reasons, but its likely animal vector—bats—provides an interesting example of how temperatures relate to the spread of infectious disease. Like humans, bats are mammals that maintain a warm body temperature that protect them from disease. But while our body temperature rests around 98.6°F and spikes a few degrees when we’re sick, bats’ body temperatures can regularly jump to as high as 105°F.
That means they can carry a whole slew of pathogens without suffering from them. In the near future, as global temperatures inch up, bats will continue to be protected by their body heat, while the pathogens they carry are better able to harm us.
For decades, scientists have recognized that climate change would lead to a range of public health consequences. A 1992 report from the National Academy of Sciences, for example, cited a number of ways climate change could lead to the spread of infectious disease and described the lack of resources devoted to studying the impact of climate change on disease as “disturbing.” Four years later, a widely-cited paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association warned that climate change could increase the spread of everything from malnutrition to malaria, and called for concerted study between doctors, climate scientists and social scientists. That same year the World Health Organization published a 300-page tome on the topic, looking at a slew of ties between climate and health, but at the same time noting that the links are “complex and multifactorial.”

February 11, 2020 - Posted by | General News

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