With the increasing reduction of the space dedicated to them, due to deforestation or human pollution, wild animals and humans are more and more brought to rub shoulders. However, this state of affairs, in addition to generating a risk for the animal which can be killed by the population, in an accidental or voluntary way, makes incur health problems to the Men with an exposure to new diseases brought back by these wild species.

A little background :

Diseases transmitted by wild animals are on the rise. The figures speak for themselves: between 1940 and 2020, 160 viral diseases were discovered, often originating from contact between people and animals, such as HIV, Ebola, Malaria, dengue fever, influenza A, or Covid-19.

The origin of epidemics :

The emergence of many epidemics stems from anthropization. This term refers to the process by which people have modified ecosystems, with deforestation, urbanization, or the intensification of population mobility. These activities have allowed the emergence of many epidemics, whose viruses already existed in animals. However, these animals were kept in their natural habitats, and thus the diseases that were specific to them did not affect humans.

How does the transmission occur?

The process by which a virus is transmitted from wildlife to humans is relatively simple : when people handle an animal that has released a virus through the air and then touch its face, the virus reaches the human species. However, the precise origin of an animal-to-human transmission is still very difficult to determine. Indeed, to know the ins and outs of a contamination, with its place, date and circumstances, researchers must carry out field surveys in order to better understand the habits and customs of the villagers, their hunting methods and the way they treat the animals.

A propos de Benjamin PERRIN