Disease X: A novel approach to prevent future pandemics

Researchers at Cornell University and the Wildlife Conservation Society have put forward a unique solution to prevent future pandemics: living in harmony with bats. Their study, published in “The Lancet Planetary Health,” suggests that disturbing bats, who are often considered carriers of diseases, can actually increase the risk of zoonotic spillover, where animal-borne pathogens like “Disease X” are transmitted to humans. Although bats carry many viruses, including one closely related to COVID-19, the researchers argue that safeguarding bat habitats and reducing human interference can significantly reduce the likelihood of future pandemics. This new approach towards coexisting peacefully with bats may offer a crucial strategy for safeguarding public health.

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

Read More News: The whole world is shaking in fear! 20 times more people will die from this unknown virus than Corona!

“In a globalized world with 8 billion people, we can no longer ignore our interconnectedness with the wildlife and ecosystems around us. We must change humanity’s relationship with nature if we want to prevent the next pandemic of zoonotic origin-and that can start with bats,” says Dr. Susan Lieberman, WCS’s Vice President for International Policy.

In simple terms, it is crucial for humanity to alter its damaged association with nature, particularly when it comes to wildlife and bats. The expenses involved in bringing about behavioral changes in humans are small compared to the potential expenses of another worldwide pandemic, which could be even more catastrophic.

“Getting humanity to work collaboratively at a global scale underpins most of the existential challenges we face, from climate change and environmental pollution to biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse-this at a time when earnest collaboration even at local scales often seems elusive,” notes Cornell Professor of Wildlife Health & Health Policy Steven A. Osofsky, lead author of the study. “However, if we can actually stop hunting, eating, and trading bats, stay out of their caves, keep livestock away from areas where bats are concentrated, and if we can stop deforesting, degrading (or even start restoring) their natural habitats, we can indisputably lower the chances of another pandemic.”

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