As the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread worldwide, scientists and researchers are discovering new characteristics of the deadly novel virus. Experts have warned that the coronavirus pandemic might just be one of the series of viral outbreaks, as human beings entered an era they described as 'a pandemic era'.
Anthony Fauci, who is the leading US immunologist and also the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), along with David Morens, who is a medical epidemiologist at NIAID, made a prediction that the outbreaks of diseases and epidemics are going to increase in the coming years as populations grow and societies expand amid the rise of deforestation.
COVID-19 Not the Last Outbreak?
As a part of a study published last month in a scientific journal named Cell, the experts stated that in the past decade the world has experienced unprecedented pandemic explosions like the swine flu, Zika, and Ebola, and the novel coronavirus in late 2019. "One can conclude from this recent experience that we have entered a pandemic era. The causes of this new and dangerous situation are multifaceted, complex, and deserving of serious examination," they stated as reported by Vice.
The experts explained that even though the newly emerging diseases have been threatening humans since the Neolithic Revolution, the last decade has witnessed a sharp rise in the novel coronavirus outbreaks. Most of the viruses are zoonotic, originating in a non-human animal and spreading to humans and few of the most widespread factors contributing the spread had to do with the behavior of humans.
Humans Contributing to the Emergence and Spread of Diseases
Population rise, human movement, and many other behaviors have all contributed to the emergence and spreading of infectious diseases. The environmental factors like water storage, wet markets with poultry and other infectious animals also contribute to the risk of viral outbreaks, which in course adds weight to the what the experts said that the activities and practices of humans contribute to the emergence of diseases. They concluded that if the practices are continued then many other disease outbreaks are going to be witnessed by humans in the near future.
The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 27.3 million people globally and claimed the lives of over 892,000 people worldwide in more than 170 countries. An effective vaccine is expected by the first quarter of 2021.