from BuzzFeed News
Humanity has “entered a pandemic era,” with the worldwide coronavirus outbreak likely the first of accelerating epidemics to come, top US infectious disease scientist Anthony Fauci and other public health experts are warning.
In an August report in the journal Cell, Fauci and epidemiologist David Morens, his National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) colleague, foresee an accelerating rate of pandemics in the years ahead driven largely by deforestation, urban crowding, and wet markets for wild game, which will make increasing environmental degradation worldwide in this century, “the key determinant of disease emergence.”
“I don’t have a crystal ball, but what we are seeing looks very much like an acceleration of pandemics,“ Morens told BuzzFeed News.
These diseases increasingly either reemerge from older menaces, such as West Nile virus or antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or jump from wild animals to people, most notably with the deadly coronaviruses, SARS, MERS, and now SARS-CoV-2. The long-standing patchwork approach of responding to each new outbreak with emergency declarations followed by spurts of funding has to transform into a broader change in how people live to forestall the illness, deaths, and havoc of these plagues, Morens and Fauci argue.
“Evidence suggests that SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 are only the latest examples of a deadly barrage of coming coronavirus and other emergences,” they conclude in their report.