COVID-19 is said to have been transmitted to humans from wild bats in an animal market in Wuhan, China. Many of the most recent epidemics that have taken the lives of millions, including Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and avian influenza, were also triggered by viruses from wild animals. Now, some scientists are proposing that a careful surveillance of wide life globally could give us hints to – and also help to prevent – the next pandemic.
Currently, there is no global system to screen for animal viruses that may jump to humans. A diverse group of infectious disease experts, wildlife biologists, and ecologists are suggesting a decentralized, global system of monitoring wild animals that can infect humans.
This, they argue, has become necessary has human and industrial activity are rapidly shrinking wild life and increasingly hunting wild animals for food and industrial purposes. These wild animals are also shipped across the world to make medicines and other purposes. This team of researchers believes that having a global system of screening these wild animals and their products at hotspots such as wildlife markets may be an efficient way of curbing subsequent epidemics.