THE CROSS-SPECIES SPILLOVER: FROM WUHAN EPIDEMICS TO GLOBAL OUTBREAKS

WHAT WE DO NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS SO FAR?

“Epidemics on the other side of the world are a threat to us all. No epidemics is just local “

-Peter  Piot

 

It was just an ordinary day on the Wuhan food market, the day before the day of outbreaks. Everyone was happy as it used to be before the Chinese Lunar Year, before the virus jumped into the mass of people who eat everything, even cats and dogs. The Coronavirus is not just a joke, it is a cause of severe disease that has killed 56 people and infected more than 1,372 challenging not only the China but the whole world. Do we have capabilities to deal with one new jumper? According to the current  research studies, the outbreaks must be started on the Wuhan wet market and being fast spread all over the provinces and population. The wet market is just a right place for one new cross-species spillover to be created, especially in China, known to be all- eater country and condemned for its terrible animal cruelty, lack of compassion for animals and nature. I am not surprised at all that outbreaks have been born just here but unfortunately wont stay just here. The molecular beast will see the globe and it looks like the perfect revenge of the Mother Nature for all of our parasite deeds.

What was so specific on that kind of Chinese market ? I believe that nobody really want to imagine or even to know what those markets are organised and what is on the menu. We talk about the any absence of compassion but rather about naked hunger that is satisfied through eating of everything, even the bush meat and uncooked raw food:“At such markets, outdoor stalls are squeezed together to form narrow lanes, where locals and visitors shop for cuts of meat and ripe produce. A stall selling hundreds of caged chickens may abut a butcher counter, where uncooked meat is chopped as nearby dogs watch hungrily. Vendors hock skinned hares, while seafood stalls display glistening fish and shrimp.Wet markets put people and live and dead animals – dogs, chickens, pigs, snakes, civets, and more – in constant close contact. That makes it easy for a virus to jump from animal to human.”

In spite of reactions of local authorities to ban the trade of live animals, after the first cases of the Coronavirus, the question of the content of this market is still opened. The wildlife activists and animal rights fighters are warning for years about the all damage that Chinese mentality of digesting everything what could be eaten produce on the global level. We are talking here about markets that are mixture of illegal wildlife trade,  bush meat and total abuse of local and domestic animals. Those people simply eat all and don’t care about any regulations, rules or limitations. Such a setting in epidemiology is actually the right setting for virus to jump from one species to another, making a real party for all. First of all, the Coronavirus is a zoonotic disease and this means that virus is transmitted to the people through animals. The science further brings an information that bats are regular hosts of the Coronaviruses and they infected animals that have been eaten by people.  Lets just remind that those Chinese wet markets are the horror spectacle because the vendors offer possibility to slaughter live animal in the front of the customer. That is a magic circle of mental sickness and the big ground for epidemics. The nature wont tolerate anymore the crime we make on the daily basis and that what is happening on the Chinese horror food markets is a reason for that land to be boycotted unless such practice is not banned on the official state.

The wet markets in China sell processed meats and live animals, including domestic animals but also donkeys, foxes, badgers, bamboo rats hedgehogs and snakes.  I am disgusted only with such a scenery of innocent animals being exploited by hungry and primitive people that produce themselves with no mercy. The birth of virus is expected and the scientists have already written about the coming time of Pandemics X that will violate the world and depopulate the number of homo sapiens. It may not be the SARS, Ebola or Coronavirus but it will be definitely something active, angry and bloodthirsty.

My friend who works for CDC ( Center for Disease Control, Atlanta ) told me that Coronavirus is not so evil as other bugs we already know. How is then possible that IT kills people with such a success and on that rapid rate? It belongs to the family of viruses that are responsible for causing serious illnesses, from a cold to the complete breakdown of the respiratory system. The siblings are SARS and MERS, both known to be aggressive zoonotic diseases. While SARS is transmitted to the people from civet cats, MERS came from camels to the humans.

The name Corona is borrowed from the Latin word for crown because the particles of virus under electric microscope are showing the germ with crowns, almost like Solar corona  and that germ decided to build its own kingdom,  through destruction of ours.  This is  the new strain that has been not identified in people till now.  The zero patient must be discovered in order to find the vector and to analyse the chain of transmissions. If we know so far that the natural reservoir of this virus is a bat, we need to think about the next host, from which is the virus jumped on the people. Some scientists believe it is a Chinese cobra or krait.  Just as a reminder, when the virus make a cross-species spillover, this means that virus usually adapt itself on the new conditions and its strain is also changed or mutated.

 

I find the term spillover infection the right one for this situation. The explorers have traced the origins of the first cross-species jump and it always leads us back to the indicators of the catastrophe. The illegal wildlife trade and destruction of natural habitat for many animals have turned the ecosystem into the living lab for microbes. There are no borders between species and zoonotic diseases have no visual obstacles to get to the new host.  The Wuhan Coronavirus symptoms are fever, cough, shortness of breath and advanced development of pneumonia, kidney failure and final death.  The human to human spread is actually the biggest reason for the whole world to be on alert because maybe there is a button for launching the global epidemics or new pandemics X. At this moment, virus is located mostly in China but with sporadic cases in Europe and USA. It wot be easy to control the virus at the age of massive air fluctuations and travel volume but it wont be impossible also to find the zero patient and to start dealing with virus, that is not so aggressive as its relative, SARS.

China itself is responsible for many outbreaks that are coming through the animal abuse, environmental  and wildlife terrorism, lack of compassion and strict epidemics rules. This land and society has a long road ahead to clean its garden full of trash, failed human values and absence of common sense for spillover effect. The Coronavirus is just the beginning of the story that wont be only Chinese, at the end of the day.

 

 

 

 

One thought on “THE CROSS-SPECIES SPILLOVER: FROM WUHAN EPIDEMICS TO GLOBAL OUTBREAKS

  1. Sarah’s informative and highly-relative article emphasizes the fact that epidemics have been associated with Homo sapiens for millennia but that globalization has increased the frequency of epidemics.

    The term ‘epidemic’ (from the Ancient Greek ‘ἐπί’- epi [upon] + ‘δῆμος’ – demos [people]) derives from a word form attributed to Homer’s Odyssey, which later took its medical meaning from ‘The Epidemics’ (i.e. a treatise by Hippocrates).

    Thucydides’ description of The Plague of Athens (c. 430 BCE) is considered one of the earliest documented accounts of an epidemic: it killed an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 people, and is believed to have entered Athens main city through Piraeus; the city’s port and sole source of food and supplies (i.e. globalization).

    Over the past 100,000 years, as Homo sapiens increased in numbers and dispersed throughout the planet, new infectious diseases emerged; including those caused by viruses. Earlier, humans lived in small, isolated communities, and most epidemic diseases did not exist.

    Smallpox, which is the most lethal and devastating viral infection in history, first emerged among agricultural communities in India, c. 9000 BCE: it derived from rodents coming from other areas.

    More ancient viruses have been less of a threat. For example, the herpes viruses first infected the ancestors of modern humans over 80 million years ago. Humans have developed a tolerance to these viruses.

    More recently-evolved viruses cause epidemics and pandemics, and it is these that history records: the influenza virus is one that seems to have crossed the species barrier from pigs to ducks and water fowl and to humans.

    In essence, globalization is not the only cause of epidemics, but it significantly-enhances the spread of them.

    Like

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About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !