By Jason Gale
Hundreds of thousands of people can be infected annually in China and no Southeast Asian by coronavirus-bearing animals related to what causes a covid-19, according to a study that highlights the continuing threat of pandemics caused by this type of streaming.
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An average of 400,000 such cases occur each year, and most infections go unnoticed because they cause mild or no symptoms and are not easily transmitted from person to person, said researchers at the EcoHealth Alliance and Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore in study disclosed prior to peer review and publication. Still, each contagion represents an opportunity for viral adaptation that could lead to a Covid-19-like outbreak.
The question of where and how the virus that causes Covid emerged has become particularly contentious. Some leaders blame a hypothetical leak at a laboratory in Wuhan, China, that studies the pathogens. The new research, supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, based on evidence that bats they are the main hosts of viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, and people living close to their roosts are especially vulnerable.
“This is probably the first attempt to estimate how often people are infected with SARS-related bat coronaviruses,” he said. Edward Holmes, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Sydney who did not participate in the research. Humans are continually exposed to bat coronaviruses, he said. “With the right circumstances, one of them can lead to an outbreak.”
Nearly two dozen species of bats that can be infected with coronaviruses live in an area of Asia six times the size of the US state of Texas. O sul from China and regions of Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Indonesia are considered to be at the highest risk of contagion. Peter Daszak and researchers from the New York EcoHealth Alliance used a bat distribution model and ecological and epidemiological data to estimate the risk of exposure to SARS-related coronaviruses and the rate of unreported bat infections for humans in China, South Asia and Southeast Asia.
“If we can stop this at the level of individual infections, we have a much better chance of averting the next pandemic,” Daszak said Tuesday in an interview by Zoom.
“Given the challenges of identifying the origins of Covid-19 and the ways in which SARS-CoV-2 has spread to people, this approach can also help in efforts to identify the geographic locations where the jump first occurred.” said in the study.
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