A new coronavirus that has already infected thousands of people and killed at least 132 others has many rushing to uncover its source. Now, scientists have a hunch that contact with live animals or their dead flesh may be the culprit.
The new coronavirus is in the same family as SARS, MERS and the common cold.
Coronaviruses often circulate among animals and can jump from animal to human. https://t.co/sgioDXW89t
— ABC News (@ABC) January 24, 2020
The virus, labeled 2019-nCoV, is similar to other infamous coronaviruses like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). All three spread from animals to humans.
“Nobody’s come to manage this.”
This video allegedly shows dead bodies lying in hospital aisles in Wuhan Red Cross Hospital, the city where the #coronavirus originated.
The virus has killed 26 people and infected at least 830 https://t.co/ThQQSVQHKX pic.twitter.com/qgs0E1GdgU
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) January 24, 2020
Experts theorize that the outbreak might have originated in a wet market in Wuhan, China, where humans have direct contact with live animals as well as animal flesh. In these cramped markets, animals are slaughtered and skinned right in front of customers, aerosolizing all types of particles that could lead to infection.
According to CNN, most of those who were first infected and hospitalized were “workers or customers at a local seafood wholesale market which also sold processed meats and live consumable animals including poultry, donkeys, sheep, pigs, camels, foxes, badgers, bamboo rats, hedgehogs and reptiles.”
Researchers are still trying to figure out how the virus reached the Wuhan market. Some have suggested that bats, birds, or even snakes are the reservoir species for the virus. However, it’s still uncertain which species the virus came from or how it spread to humans.
The outbreaks of both the Wuhan coronavirus and SARS started in Chinese wet markets. Photos show what the markets look like. https://t.co/SJkUvZsVLf
— Science Insider (@SciInsider) January 22, 2020
Symptoms of 2019-nCoV mimic the common cold but can also lead to severe respiratory illness, such as pneumonia, and other complications. There have been at least two cases identified in the United States. A vaccine is at least a year away, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Eating meat isn’t just killing animals—it’s also threatening human health.
For years now, scientists have warned that filthy farms crammed full of sick animals are breeding grounds for new, antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.” Some studies claim that by 2050, more people will be dying from antibiotic-resistant diseases than from cancer.
The United Nations found that 70% of new human diseases originated in animals and that many of those were directly linked to animals used for food. The World Health Organization states that processed meat causes cancer. Meanwhile, a vegan diet reduces the risk of many chronic degenerative diseases and conditions, including heart disease, cancer, obesity, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.
Deadly viruses, devastating forest fires, accelerating climate change—eating animals has apocalyptic consequences.
We cannot expect to continue living on planet Earth if we continue to eat animals. It’s really that simple. The easiest thing that you can do for your own health and the world we live in is to go vegan right now and persuade everyone you know to do the same.