From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Zoonotic diseases
Mains level : Threats posed by coronavirus outbreak
Several deadly new viruses in recent years have emerged in China — Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), bird flu, and now the novel Coronavirus (nCOV).
- Closely packed stalls in busy marketplaces, the Chinese taste for exotic meats, and the high population density of cities create the conditions for the spread of zoonotic infections.
- The reason could lie in the busy food markets dotting cities across the country — where fruits, vegetables, hairy crabs and butchered meat are often sold next to bamboo rats, snakes, turtles, and palm civets.
- The relationship between zoonotic pathogens and global pandemics are not new.
- The WHO estimates that globally, about a billion cases of illness and millions of deaths occur every year from zoonoses, i.e, diseases and infections naturally transmitted between people and vertebrate animals.
- Some 60% of emerging infectious diseases globally are zoonoses. Of the over 30 new human pathogens detected over the last three decades, 75% originated in animals.
Major cause: Animal markets
- In animal markets, there are greater chances of transmission of a virus from animals to humans, and its mutation to adapt to the human body.
- It has happened wherever in the world there is unregulated mixing of humans and animals, either wild or domesticated.
- The official referred to the Ebola outbreak in Africa there it was wild chimpanzees who had the disease. It came into humans after these were killed and consumed.