They affirm that 70% of the last epidemic outbreaks arose with deforestation
María Neira, WHO Director of Public Health and Environment, warns that coronavirus pandemic is another example of the damage that man does to the environment. From the organization they affirm that 70% of recent outbreaks emerged with massive deforestation of jungles and rainforests.
The Spanish doctor indicates that there is a dangerous relationship between the Ebola viruses, SARS or HIV / AIDS and the pressure of man on his natural environment. Insists on need for governments and individuals to recognize that climate change is a public health problem and not an ecology issue.
Neira, who has a master's degree in public health and nutrition, suggests a healthy, positive and green revolution, whose fundamental pillar is the rapid transition to clean energy. The scientist assures that Countries that decide to switch from coal and oil to solar and wind sources will boost their growth and reduce poverty and inequality.
How deforestation is related to the spread of virus?
Maria Neira, says deforestation practices that are carried out for short-term economic purposes have devastating effects on humanity. Since by destroying the forest to replace it with intensive and polluting agriculture, the animals that live in these areas undergo profound transformations. We come into contact with species that we did not do before, which can transmit diseases to us.
Going from a forest to a crop, altering the ecosystem with compost and pesticides generates new types of vectors that can transmit viruses. Deforestation is a way of breaking down the barrier between species, which protects us naturally.
A clear example of the development of this phenomenon is the Ebola virus, which was transmitted from the fruit bats of the jungles of West Africa to humans, unleashing the contagion. But the worst is that the same thing happened with AIDS and SARS. This demonstrates that 70% of recent outbreaks that have emerged are rooted in the violent break with ecosystems and species.
What can be done to avoid this?
The scientist explains that it is necessary to understand that we must be in balance with the environment. Since this is the one that gives us all the resources to survive. We must take advantage of it but without destroying and contaminating everything we touch, as it happens at the moment.
Finally, Neira explains that We are going against ourselves and we must accept that we are wrong in the narrative around climate change in recent years. And that it is important to understand that climate change is not an ecological or activist issue, it is a public health problem that hurts us all.