The Amazon Forest Could Be The Next Pandemic Trigger
Many scientists expressed concern that the next pandemic could originate from the Amazon rainforest, especially when widespread deforestation and human development expose us to animal habitats and potential disease outbreaks.
“The Amazon rainforest is a large virus repository. It hosts the world’s most diverse coronaviruses, including the common cold, SARS, MERS, and Covid-19. This is why we should not exploit the Amazon forest inappropriately as it is today, ”said David Lapolla, an ecologist at Campinas University (Brazil).
It is estimated that at least 60% of the 335 diseases that appeared between 1960 and 2004 are of animal origin, including Ebola, SARS, Covid-19.
Primates are the most common source of viral infection among humans due to their chemically close relationship. Meanwhile, bats are also known to host viruses that cause disease.
The reason and how these pathogens spread from animals to humans remains a mystery. But according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B in April 2020, the disruption of environmental equilibrium can significantly increase the risk of viral transmission.