Why do new viruses occur frequently

The global impact of coVID-19 is a wake-up call.
In the past 30 years, new viral diseases have emerged and even become widespread, such as Nipah virus encephalitis, SARS, Ebola hemorrhagic fever and avian flu, which not only seriously harm human health, but also cause huge economic losses.
While actively preventing and controlling the epidemic, we should also reflect on —

Why are new viruses so common

“Unity of man and nature” is a great idea of the Chinese nation. It emphasizes the harmonious relationship between “heaven” and “man”, and human health and disease are affected by the living environment (” heaven “).
Reflecting on the relationship between human and nature, we should realize that the outbreak of viruses and infectious diseases has much to do with the ecological imbalance.
Various evidences show that the outbreak of many epidemic diseases cannot be separated from the ecological damage caused to the natural environment by human social behaviors, including but not limited to global warming, overexploitation, and hunting game, etc.

Jean-louis Verdai, a French professor of medicine, points out in “Can New Diseases Be Predicted and Prevented” that “infectious and communicable diseases are the result of the relationship between the human being and the surrounding microbial environment at a given time.
Each side is constantly evolving to change the relationship and create a new balance.”
In other words, the frequent outbreaks of new viruses are not accidental. In addition to the virus itself, natural disasters, climate change, land use, urbanization and living environment, social governance and other factors have destroyed the original ecological balance.

Ecological imbalance promotes virus transmission and “evolution”

The environmental pollution and destruction brought by human industrialization has a direct impact on the ecosystem, resulting in ecological imbalance.
Pathogenic microorganism is an important source of infectious diseases, the ecological imbalance on the one hand, the spread of the virus that causes some wildlife directly to people, on the other hand, also promoted the virus “evolution” – to produce a new virus, or in pathogenicity, antigenicity, route of transmission and the type of the infected host changes, cause some harmless to native host strains across the species barrier to infect humans.
The epidemic of viruses caused by different ACTS of human destruction of nature can be divided into the following three categories:

Global warming – provides a breeding ground for viral epidemics.
On the one hand, global warming provides a good environment for the vectors and intermediate hosts of the virus, such as mosquitoes, deer and mice, to multiply.
On the other hand, climate change causes the migration of birds, which promotes the spread of the microorganisms carried by birds to other areas and the spread of pathogens and vectors.
For example, West Nile virus (WNV), with birds as the main reservoir, used to be prevalent mainly in the dry and warm southern Hemisphere in Africa. However, with global warming and bird migration, an outbreak occurred in New York in 1999, ending the history of human and animal infections in the Western Hemisphere.

Overexploitation – Wild animals are forced towards humans.
Due to the large-scale exploitation of nature by human beings, wild animals are forced to migrate from the deep forest to farms and other places on the edge of the forest in search of food, which leads to the contact between wild animals and between wild animals and human beings. As a result, the virus with wild animals as the natural host is transmitted to human beings, or transmitted indirectly through domestic animals.
In 1999, there was an outbreak of Nipah virus in pig farming in Malaysia.
The study found that the virus spread from flying foxes to pigs, accidentally infecting humans and causing a massive epidemic, as the lack of food forced bats to migrate to orchards near the edge of the forest due to deforestation.
Another example is the Ebola virus originating in Congo, Africa. Although the original source is not clear, the intermediate host, such as gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates, can transmit the Ebola virus to humans, thus causing outbreaks and epidemics among humans.

Venison – a new species of virus on the tip of the tongue.
Bats have been implicated in outbreaks of SARS in 2002, Middle East Respiratory syndrome in 2012, and COVID-19, which has developed since late 2019.
Bats and humans do not overlap strongly either in terms of activity time or habitat environment, so that the connection between the two must require specific social behaviors.
In some areas, bats are used as food, so a range of activities, from hunting and processing to cooking and eating, allow for contact between humans and bats.
In February 2019, an infectious disease called “zombie deer” spread among deer populations in the United States, Canada and elsewhere.
Zombie deer disease is a “chronic wasting disease” caused by prions that infects deer such as wild elk and moose.
Us researchers say there is a risk of “chronic wasting disease” in the coming years from humans eating infected wild deer.

Reflect on man’s way of getting along with nature

Man and nature are a community of life, the destruction of the environment is the arrival of disaster, the correct handling of the relationship between man and nature is an important proposition of human society.
After the development of industrial civilization, human beings have carried out a deeper and broader conquest of nature.
This kind of behavior produces double effects: on the one hand, people’s ability to understand and transform nature is constantly improving, and they also reap great material wealth;
On the other hand, human’s behavior to transform and explore nature destroys the balance of natural environment and ecology, which leads to the serious crisis between human and nature.
Originally, human and nature as well as viruses in nature coexist for a long time. Now, the frequent occurrence of large-scale epidemics is a counterattack from the ecology, prompting us to think about the way to get along with nature.

It is the core connotation of modern environmental security to be kind to nature and at the same time to guard against the revenge from the bad environment, and it is also a reflection on the evil consequences of human’s blind conquest of nature.
The relationship between the human living environment and its health is essentially ecological balance, and the disease-etiology model indicates that the occurrence and development of any epidemic disease are more or less related to the environment.
SARS, avian flu and COVID-19 are all related to animals, and epidemics cannot occur on a large scale without great changes in the overall environment brought about by the destruction of ecological balance.
Covid-19 prompts people to re-examine their natural attributes and realize that nature is one of the essence of human beings and that the basic condition for human survival and development is the ecosystem with natural value.
For this reason, man’s kindness to nature is kindness to man himself.

Regardless of the outbreak of COVID-19, it is particularly important to examine ourselves from the perspective of China’s traditional thinking of “man and nature in one”.
After this outbreak, we should reflect on the pain, exercise self-discipline and refuse to indulge in game for the sake of appetite.
No sale no killing, on the one hand, protect the ecological balance, and protect themselves from wild animal virus, at the same time, for our health habits, should also be self-reflection, from heteronomy to autonomy: wash your hands often, wearing a mask, common outbreak, do not together, do not cluster, active isolation that occupy the home, have a positive report.

Human nature is not the selfish “self”, on the contrary, self-transcendence is the eternal pursuit of life.
The fight against COVID-19 shows how humanity can ascend, improve and transcend itself and rebuild our home.
Medical workers are not afraid to sacrifice, heal the wounded and rescue the dying, and show the sincerity of great doctors in crisis;
Ordinary people do what they can, whether it’s donating love or volunteering…
These are the true portrayal of human beings’ spiritual self-transcendence and social progress.

Prevention and control of the epidemic goes beyond the virus itself

Public health emergencies are globally contagious and it is difficult for any country to stay immune.
The globalization of the COVID-19 epidemic is a real risk that we must face up to.
Under such a global perspective, it is all the more important for us to establish a prevention and control system of international cooperation, discuss the response together and cooperate to fight the epidemic.
We should also be aware that the prevention and control of coVID-19 is not only about the virus itself, but also about the need for comprehensive social and environmental control. It should be extended to the geographical environment, meteorology and other disciplines to promote sustainable development from a global perspective.

In the past decades, global sustainable development has achieved positive results, but it still faces many challenges.
Among them, there is the unsustainable development of natural ecological environment, showing the disharmonious relationship between human and nature, such as global warming, global resource shortage, global pollution and so on.
Modern civilization gives us the creativity to conquer nature, but it is also a powerful destructive force to some extent. The contradiction between human development and living environment is increasingly revealed.
We should re-examine the old way of “pollution first, treatment later”, so as to achieve sustainable development on the new road of modernization.

It should be noted that measuring social progress by economic yardstick alone is incomplete.
The COVID-19 outbreak tells us that the natural environment is an element of social progress that must not be overlooked.
Although the cause of novel Coronavirus has not been confirmed yet, many scientists think that it is related to the destruction of ecological environment.
We should pay more attention to the natural environment on which we live and achieve sustainable development without sacrificing the environment.

The earth is an organism, and a disease in any part of it can cause a crisis in the whole organism.
Now that the COVID-19 epidemic is spreading around the world, no country can afford to stay aloof from it. Global cooperation and unity is the right way to fight it.
We should overcome the shortcomings of the current health care system, turn the crisis into an opportunity to rebuild the global public health system, transcend national and ethnic boundaries, and realize the universal fight against the epidemic.

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