According to a new paper, 20 public health experts from around the globe believe conservation efforts could be the key to preventing the next epidemic.
According to the WHO, primary prevention of pandemics should include reduced deforestation, better management for wildlife trade and hunting, as well as better surveillance of zoonotic diseaseogens before they reach human populations. ReportPublished inScience AdvancesAccording to, their annual costs are estimated at $20 trillion. This is less than 5 per cent of the annual estimated value of deaths from emerging infectious diseases, including HIV and coronavirus.
The paper argues that current funding for monitoring and supervision of the wildlife trade is inadequate. This allows zoonotic disease to spread to humans through increased human-animal contact. The authors demand increased budgets and personnel for both the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and the World Organization for Animal Health. To prevent deforestation, they advocate reducing Amazon deforestation as well as linking conservation measures in smaller forest areas to investments in strengthening the health care system in those areas.
The authors also discuss the need for a global virus discovery project to identify emerging pathogens and target prevention activities. They also advocate for more qualified veterinarians in spillover hotspots in order to monitor emerging diseases in wildlife and livestock.
According to the authors’ calculations, these prevention methods would cost $20Billion. The research then compares these costs to the value of all the deaths caused by every disease since 1918 that originated from animals and has killed more than 10 people. The researchers estimated that the estimated value of pandemic deaths is at least $350billion, with $212billion in direct economic losses.
Marcia Castro, chair of Harvard T.H. Department of Global Health and Population said that we are proving the benefits of prevention and also providing strong advocacy. Chan School of Public Health.
Experts agree that primary prevention has many benefits, which go beyond the treatment of infectious diseases. For example, consider preventing deforestation. This will reduce carbon emissions, conserve water supplies, preserve biodiversity, and protect Indigenous peoples’ homes. It also prevents the spread of viruses to humans. In the tropics, deforestation brings people into closer contact with wildlife as they clear the areas.
Do we not all wish that we could have stopped the deforestation of West Africa so that we wouldn’t have HIV? asked Stuart Pimm, a professor of conservation ecology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. We recommend things that we know how and that offer all kinds of benefits.
The authors also note that the top experts on the planet working to stop pandemics often overlook conservation-related measures to protect infectious diseases.
The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board is a joint venture between World Bank and World Health Organization. It wrote a ReportConcerning the September 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, it pleaded for greater global health security through investments in vaccines and diagnostic tests. It made no mention of the prevention of zoonotic illnesses spreading from animals and humans. The Group of Twenty nations also formed a panel to finance the global commons for emergency preparedness and response. SubmittedIt was only concerned with financing activities after disease spreads in an April 2021 document. While the April 2021 report did mention the need to have global viral surveillance, stating that the time until the next pandemic is shorter than many think, it did nothing to mention the possible roles that deforestation and better management wildlife trade and hunting could play for preventing future pandemics.
Aaron Bernstein, pediatrician, director of the Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment, Harvard T.H. The Chan School was the principal author of the Science AdvancesGet your report today. He believes that the current pandemic approach to pandemics, which ignores primary prevention methods, is absurd.
He said that the current focus of pharmaceutical advances to prevent the next epidemic is similar to saying “Lets just adapt for climate change”.
He said, “Lets not prevent climate changes or mitigate them; let us just deal with the consequences.”
These primary pandemic prevention strategies are not new, even though they have not been recommended by global health organizations. The Natural Resources Defense Council and Center for Biological Diversity have filed petitions requesting that the Fish and Wildlife Service and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ban imports and/or exports of live birds and mammal in order to prevent future pandemics like Covid-19 (see below).Greenwire, Aug. 3, 2021.)