Prelims level : Medicine & Pharma Mains level : GS-II Issues relating to development and Management of social Sectors or Services, relating to Health, Education, Human Resources
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Why in News?

  • Several deadly new viruses in recent years have emerged in China — Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), bird flu, and now the novel Coronavirus (nCOV).

Zoonotic Infections:

  • Closely packed stalls in busy marketplaces, the Chinese taste for exotic meats, and the high population density of cities create the conditions for the spread of zoonotic infections.
  • The reason could lie in the busy food markets dotting cities across the country — where fruits, vegetables, hairy crabs and butchered meat are often sold next to bamboo rats, snakes, turtles, and palm civets.
  • The relationship between zoonotic pathogens and global pandemics are not new.
  • The WHO estimates that globally, about a billion cases of illness and millions of deaths occur every year from zoonoses, i.e, diseases and infections naturally transmitted between people and vertebrate animals.
  • Some 60% of emerging infectious diseases globally are zoonoses. Of the over 30 new human pathogens detected over the last three decades, 75% originated in Animals.

Animal Markets in china:

  • In animal markets, there are greater chances of transmission of a virus from animals to humans, and its mutation to adapt to the human body.
  • It has happened wherever in the world there is unregulated mixing of humans and animals, either wild or domesticated.
  • The official referred to the Ebola outbreak in Africa there it was wild chimpanzees who had the disease. It came into humans after these were killed and consumed.

Corona Transmitted from Snake:

  • The researchers found evidence that the 2019-nCoV may have resided in snakes before being transmitted to humans.
  • The findings suggest that snake is the most probable wildlife animal reservoir for the 2019-nCoV.
  • Researchers also said that there is very likely to be an intermediate non-bat host which would have picked up the virus from bats.
  • They said recombination within the viral receptor-binding protein may have allowed for cross-species transmission from snake to humans.
  • The new virus is similar to the one which caused the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
  • However, the study noted that unlike the SARS-CoV, the 2019-nCoV causes a mild form of viral pneumonia, and has limited capability for person-person spread.
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