Connections: Pandemics & The Environment

By Catie Strickland on December 4, 2020

Key Points:

  • Destruction of forests could mean more pandemics 
  • Wildfires in the Amazon are linked to climate change and the rise of new diseases
  • Human Health, Animal Health, and Environmental health are inextricably linked

Let’s take a closer look at the connections between our environment and deadly diseases, this is a perfect quarantine read to raise awareness and plan for the future.

Destruction of Habitat Can Increase Pandemics

With deforestation on the rise, scientists agree that global pandemics will become more likely. In areas with increased environmental destruction, you can expect to see the exploitation of wild animals, including using them for medicinal purposes and as food. While this may not seem like a concern, researchers say this creates the “perfect storm” for the spillover of diseases from wildlife to people. This has been seen with deadly viruses such as Ebola, Lymes, SARS, and HIV, which were all transmitted from animal to human.

Wildfires In The Amazon Linked To Climate Change & Disease Outbreaks

This year’s fires have been some of the worst on record. Even though fires have increased, public attention has been focused elsewhere, mostly on the current pandemic. “Zoonotic diseases, like SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused COVID-19, are on the rise,” according to scientists. Keeping habitats intact lessens the prevalence and spread of pathogens, while also absorbing carbon, a major greenhouse gas associated with climate change.

Human, Animal, & Environmental Health Are Inseparably Linked

In today’s world, saving lives and livelihoods is the immediate priority, but looking at the conditions in which COVID-19 has thrived is also important to prevent situations like this in the future. According to studies, 75% of new emerging diseases are Zoonotic, which are caused by germs that spread between animals and people, like COVID-19. Around the world, researchers are seeing that the relationship between “sick planet, sick animals, and sick people” is something that cannot be ignored and are inextricably linked.

Although this is not the happiest of blog topics, being informed is more important than a warm fuzzy read. To end on a hopeful note, we still have the opportunity to make the change. Bringing awareness to these issues can alter the current outcome. Remember sustainability champions a healthy planet, which has a huge impact on future disease outbreaks and prevention.

Spectraforce is proudly certified by the Green Business Bureau.

Resources and Additional Reading:

Image credit: Canva.com

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/aug/30/rampant-destruction-of-forests-will-unleash-more-pandemics

https://theconversation.com/historic-amazon-rainforest-fires-threaten-climate-and-raise-risk-of-new-diseases-146720?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=bylinetwitterbutton

https://mg.co.za/africa/2020-07-12-human-health-animal-health-and-environmental-health-are-inextricably-linked/

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