Climate change could have played a direct role in the emergence of SARS-CoV-2

Photo by Tommy Pequinot on Unsplash

A new study published today in journal Science of the Total Environment provides the primary evidence of a mechanism by which global climate change could have played an immediate role within the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study has revealed large-scale changes within the sort of vegetation in the southern Chinese Yunnan , and adjacent regions in Myanmar and Laos, over the last century.

Climatic changes including increases in temperature, sunlight, and atmospheric CO2 — which affect the development of plants and trees — have changed natural habitats from tropical shrubland to tropical savannah and deciduous woodland.

This created an appropriate environment for several bat species that predominantly sleep in forests.

The number of coronaviruses in a neighborhood is closely linked to the amount of various bat species present. The study found that a further 40 bat species have moved into the southern Chinese Yunnan within the past century, harbouring around 100 more kinds of bat-borne coronavirus. This ‘global hotspot’ is that the region where genetic data suggests SARS-CoV-2 may have arisen.

“Climate change over the last century has made the habitat within the southern Chinese Yunnan suitable for more bat species,” said Dr Robert Beyer, a researcher at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology and first author of the study, who has recently taken EU research fellowship at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany.

He added: “Understanding how the worldwide distribution of bat species has shifted as a results of global climate change could also be a crucial step in reconstructing the origin of the COVID-19 outbreak.”

To get their results, the researchers created a map of the world’s vegetation because it was a century ago, using records of temperature, precipitation, and cloudiness . Then they used information on the vegetation requirements of the world’s bat species to figure out the worldwide distribution of every species within the early 1900s.

Comparing this to current distributions allowed them to examine how bat ‘species richness’, the amount of various species, has changed across the world over the last century because of global climate change .

“As global climate change altered habitats, species left some areas and moved into others — taking their viruses with them.

This not only altered the regions where viruses are present, but presumably allowed for totally new interactions between animals and viruses, causing more harmful viruses to be transmitted or evolve,” said Beyer.

The world’s bat population carries around 3,000 different kinds of coronavirus, with each bat species harboring a mean of two .7 coronaviruses — most without showing symptoms.

A rise within the number of bat species during a particular region, driven by global climate change , may increase the likelihood that a coronavirus harmful to humans is present, transmitted, or evolves there.

Most coronaviruses carried by bats cannot jump into humans. But several coronaviruses known to infect humans are very likely to possess originated in bats, including three which will cause human fatalities: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) CoV, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) CoV-1 and CoV-2.

The region identified by the study as a hotspot for a climate-driven increase in bat species richness is additionally home to pangolins, which are suggested to possess acted as intermediate hosts to SARS-CoV-2.

The virus is probably going to possess jumped from bats to those animals, which were then sold at a wildlife market in Wuhan — where the initial human outbreak occurred.

The researchers echo calls from previous studies that urge policy-makers to acknowledge the role of global climate change in outbreaks of viral diseases, and to deal with global climate change as a part of COVID-19 economic recovery programmes.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused tremendous social and economic damage. Governments must seize the chance to scale back health risks from infectious diseases by taking decisive action to mitigate global climate change ,” said Professor Andrea Manica within the University of Cambridge’s Department of Zoology, who was involved within the study.

“The proven fact that global climate change can accelerate the transmission of wildlife pathogens to humans should be an urgent warning call to scale back global emissions,” added Professor Camilo Mora at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, who initiated the project.

The researchers emphasised the necessity to limit the expansion of urban areas, farmland, and hunting grounds into natural habitat to scale back contact between humans and disease-carrying animals.

The study showed that over the last century, global climate change has also driven increases within the number of bat species in regions around Central African Republic , and scattered patches in Central and South America.

106-year-old Delhi man survives COVID-19 who was child during Spanish Flu in 1918

Corona Virus Case

A 106-year old man from Delhi, who had witnessed the 1918 Spanish Flu when he was four, has won the battle against COVID-19 and recovered faster than his son, in his 70s, at a dedicated coronavirus facility here, doctors said.

The 106-year-old patient was discharged from the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital (RGSSH) recently after recovering, where his wife, son and another loved one also recuperated after contracting the novel coronavirus infection, they said.

“Perhaps, he’s the primary reported case of COVID-19 in Delhi who also went through the dreaded Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 which like COVID-19 had also ravaged the planet . And, he not only recovered from COVID-19, he recovered faster than his son, who is additionally very old,” a senior doctor.

Spanish Flu was an epidemic which hit the planet 102 years ago and affected nearly one-third of the worldwide population at that point .

“The 1918 influenza pandemic was the foremost severe pandemic in recent history. it had been caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. Although there’s no universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide during 1918-1919,” consistent with the Centre for Diseases Control (CDC) within the US.

In the US, it had been first identified in military personnel in spring 1918. it’s estimated that about 6,75,000 deaths occurred in America, it said.

According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, the pandemic of 1918-1919 called the Spanish Flu was particularly virulent and killed an estimated 40 million people worldwide.

In India, the disease is believed to possess been brought in by the soldiers coming back from war I conflicts.

The first cases of Spanish Flu were reported in areas which are major ports of entry, like Mumbai (then Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta), Delhi and Chennai (Madras), where an outsized number of individuals returned from abroad.

The casualty count in India from the Spanish Flu is believed to be nearly one-fifth of the whole fatalities within the world, though the statistics for mortality in India are too wide-ranging and debatable.

Doctors at the RGSSH, a fanatical COVID-19 facility were amazed to ascertain the recovery of this centenarian patient from the novel coronavirus, albeit he was highly susceptible to the infection.

“We do not know whether he was suffering from the Spanish Flu or not. we’ve not seen much documentation on things some time past as far as Delhi cares , but only a few hospitals were there at that point . it’s amazing this 106-year-old showed the desire power to survive,” a senior doctor, who monitored his situation, said.

But, what’s more, interesting is that he recovered faster than his son, who is in his 70s. So, he lived through the Spanish Flu and now survived COVID-19, hence, he lived through two pandemics, he said.

Notably, his wife and another loved one also had contracted COVID-19, and have successfully recovered a few month-and-a-half ago., the doctor said.

The RGSSH has treated 1,000 COVID-19 patients so fare, and on Monday it’s marking the milestone with a symbolic event where Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Health Minister Satyendar Jain are slated to participate.

Delhi recorded 2,505 fresh coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the tally within the city to over 97,000-mark, while the price from the disease mounted to three ,004, authorities said.

The capital , at the present , is that the worst-COVID-19-hit city across India.

According to the COVID-19 health bulletin, 68,256 patients are recovered, or discharged or migrated thus far .


Man who allegedly crashed truck through Rideau Hall’s gate was troubled by COVID conspiracies

The RCMP won’t say what their officers talked about for an hour and a half with an armed intruder, crouched beside the greenhouse on the Rideau Hall property where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lives, but it’s easy to ascertain how it could are cordial.

It is equally easy to ascertain how it’d are dark and bizarre.

Corey Hurren, 46, who grew up a male child in rural Manitoba, may be a serving member of the Canadian soldiers , the military confirmed.

He is also the owner of a small meat company with a flagship garlic jalapeno sausage he’s pleased with . A father and a member of the local Lions Club , he was described as “a community-minded personality” within the local paper, back when his only notoriety was how spicy his “Ring of Fire” sausages were.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its emergency restrictions brought considerable change to Hurren — to his work, his military life, his public pastimes and, perhaps, his state of mind.

His social media history suggest a deteriorating response to the pandemic. He moves from jokes of hoarding toilet tissue and making masks out of strips of bacon to dissatisfaction with Trudeau’s compensation plan, imagery of apocalyptic anarchy and an embrace of paranoid conspiracy theories pushed by fringe online groups.

Hurren apparently drove from his range in Bowsman, in northern Manitoba, to Ottawa, carrying four guns, ammunition and what seemed to be military food rations.

Shortly before he crashed his Dodge Ram pickup through the heavy gates around Rideau Hall early Thursday, a conspiracy theory meme supporting the notion that global elites purposely launched the novel coronavirus, was posted to his meat company’s Instagram account.

If Hurren himself posted that but an hour before the purpose of no return on a life-changing, and potentially life-ending, mission, it suggests the difficulty weighed heavy on his mind.

Talking to the RCMP in an armed standoff on the restricted grounds of the Queen’s official residence in Ottawa may be a great distance from his family farm roots.