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Is This The Answer To 'Disease X'?  Scientists Identify A Critical Defense Strategy

A new approach to preventing future outbreaks has emerged from researchers at Cornell University and the Wildlife Conservation Society: Coexistence with bats. Their research, published “Lancet Planetary Health”. Advocates for not disturbing bats, often reviled as disease carriers. While bats carry a number of viruses, including one closely related to Covid-19, research suggests that culling bats or habitat loss increases the risk of zoonotic spillover, where animal-borne pathogens such as “Disease X” jump to humans.

Explained: What is disease X that could cause the next epidemic?

The researchers propose Protecting bat habitats and reducing human interference can greatly reduce the likelihood of future outbreaks. This evolution of peaceful coexistence with bats may provide an important strategy for protecting public health.

The World Health Organization has recently warned that the next outbreak, dubbed ‘Disease X’, is inevitable and only a matter of time.

In a globalized world of 8 billion people, we cannot ignore our connection to wildlife and ecosystems. If we want to prevent the next epidemic of zoonotic origin, we must change the way humans interact with nature—and that can start with bats. ” Dr. Susan Lieberman saysWCS Vice President of International Policy.

Simply put, humans need to change their damaged relationship with nature, especially wildlife and bats. The cost of implementing the changes in human behavior we need is negligible compared to the costs of another global pandemic, which could be far more devastating.

“Getting humanity to work together on a global scale underlies many of the existential challenges we face, from climate change and pollution to biodiversity loss and ecosystem destruction – at a time when sincere cooperation seems difficult even at the local scale,” Cornell said. . Wildlife Health and Health Policy Professor Steven A. Osofsky, lead author of the study. “But if we can effectively stop hunting, eating, and trading bats, keep them away from their dens, keep livestock out of areas where bats congregate, and deforest, degrade (and even restore) their natural habitats, we can unequivocally reduce the chances of another outbreak.”