How human activity impacts the planet’s ecology and leads to viral outbreaks

Democracy Now!

Mar 21, 2020

COVID-19 cases are spiking around the world, with more than 250,000 cases as of Friday and more than 10,000 deaths. Dr. Michele Barry, director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health at Stanford University, says the coronavirus and other similar outbreaks are a result of humans changing the planet’s ecology. She says the destruction of natural habitats and people moving into closer contact with animal species leads to such deadly pathogens jumping to humans. The coronavirus wreaking havoc on the world, officially known as SARS-CoV-2, is believed to have originated in bats. “We have changed the ecology of how we live with animals,” Dr. Barry says. “Climate change, deforestation and changing ecology is crucial for how we have animal and human ecology change.”

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