Monkeypox: Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease, such viruses are spreading by disturbing nature: Expert


Monkeypox: Monkeypox is a zoonotic disease, such viruses are spreading by disturbing nature: Expert

The body of a person infected with monkeypox.

Image Credit source: File Photo

According to experts, today the forests are being cut rapidly. People are disturbing the nature, flora and fauna and ecosystem. This is the reason that the barrier between humans and animals is breaking down, which is causing many diseases in humans.

When the corona, one of the worst zoonotic diseases, started decreasing, monkeypox started making headlines. According to the World Health Organization, monkeypox is a viral zoonotic disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which is recognized as the most important orthopoxvirus infection after the end of smallpox. This is not the first time that zoonosis has taken the world by surprise. Is. Before this there were also Ebola, SARS, MERS, HIV, Lyme disease, Rift Valley fever and Lassa fever. Zoonosis is an infectious disease that spreads between species from animals to humans (or from humans to animals).

In the last century, we have seen at least six major outbreaks of the novel coronavirus. Sixty percent of known infectious diseases and 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. According to a study published in 2020, major public health zoonotic diseases in India include rabies, brucellosis, toxoplasmosis, cysticercosis, echinococcosis, Japanese encephalitis (JE), plague, leptospirosis, scrub typhus, Nipah, trypanosomiasis, Kyasanur forest disease and disease (KFD). Crimean-Congo is hemorrhagic fever.

According to a study by an International Livestock Research Institute in India, 13 zoonoses cause 2.4 billion cases of human diseases and 2.2 million deaths every year. The highest number of zoonotic diseases are in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tanzania and India. Dr. Neha Rastogi Panda, Infectious Disease Advisor, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram explained in detail that zoonotic diseases are caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi and are transmitted through animals. spreads to humans. “Zonotic diseases of this type account for about 60 percent of any infectious disease worldwide,” he said.

Violation of biodiversity is the main reason

Dr. Panda said the most recent example of a zoonotic disease is COVID-19, “We know the history of Wuhan and how COVID continues to spread around the world.”

He made it clear that the world is seeing high zoonose rates after COVID. According to him, there are many reasons for this. Zoonotic diseases are more likely to spread when biodiversity is violated.

Dr. Panda said, “Today, rapid deforestation, man-made lifestyle changes, man-made natural changes are taking place. The way we are going from super speed to modern era, we are disturbing the nature, flora and fauna and ecosystem. This is the reason why the barrier between humans, animals and micro-organisms is breaking down, which is causing many diseases in humans.

He said that climate change is another reason for this. “Bacteria and viruses that were at an early stage in animals have now become stronger and more resistant to global warming. They survive in animals and are passing from them to humans today.”

What does the study say?

A new study has uncovered possible new host-virus interactions leading to virome growth or possible interactions between mammals and humans by a factor of 15. Until recently, scientists knew about only two percent of viromes. The new study has identified 80,000 new host-virus interactions. Efforts are being made to better understand the potential of all the viruses present in the database to infect humans.

Predictions were previously validated by a survey of the public health literature for virus outbreaks that the model characterized as a high probability of infecting humans or zoonotic potential. The researchers found that 11 of the 20 viruses with a high probability of infecting humans actually made humans sick.

Timothy Poisot, a computational ecologist and lead author of the study, says, “Some viruses really surprised us. We did not think that they could be transmitted to humans. For example our system calculated that the ectromelia virus which is responsible for smallpox in mice has a ‘high’ probability of infecting humans and we found that there was actually an outbreak in a Chinese school in 1987 but it was not included in any database.

Ebola is caused by filovirus

The virus family identified by the model was already known to have high zoonotic potential. The ones that often top the risk list are the banyaviruses that cause Rift Valley fever, the rhabdoviruses that cause rabies, the filoviruses that cause Ebola, and the flaviviruses that cause yellow fever and dengue. . “These are all families known to present significant zoonotic risk, but the model may enable us to more accurately measure risk within these families,” Poisot says.

Its findings may guide virologists working on preventing future zoonoses that could cause epidemics and pandemics in the future. The high-risk viruses identified by the study could be targets of sampling campaigns based on specific species as well as geographic distribution. Poisot says, “As an ecologist doing biogeographic research, I want to know not only which virus will be compatible with which host, but also where those combinations can be found.”

we have to learn to live with them

The way we were advised by experts to learn to live with COVID-19, it applies to all zoonoses. Dr Panda said, “Ecosystem is a big part and humans are an important part of this system. Therefore, the more we disturb nature, the more these zoonotic diseases will arise. To prevent the spread of such diseases, it is necessary that nature should not be tampered with.

He said that these zoonoses are also a part of the environment just like humans. “So we can’t get rid of it but we can stop them from becoming fatal.”

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