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Showing posts with the label Pandemics

Pollution and pandemics: A dangerous mix. Research finds that as one goes, so goes the other -- to a point.

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ScienceDaily A highway project in Alberta. A PinP photo. Are we setting ourselves up for the spread of a pandemic without even knowing it? Story here.

Where people go, there too, goes Covid-19! Surprising? Perhaps not. But, if more solid science will help to convince the doubters - here it is!

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Nature A busy London pub. Photo by Steve Parker. Reopening places such as restaurants, fitness centres, cafes, and hotels carries the highest risk for transmitting SARS-CoV-2, according to a modelling study based on data from the United States published in Nature. Reducing occupancy in these venues may result in a large reduction in predicted infections, the model suggests. The study also highlights disparities in infection risk according to socioeconomic status. To assess how changes in movement might alter the spread of the  virus, Jure Leskovec and colleagues use phone data (collected this spring) to map the movements of millions of people from different local neighbourhoods. They combined these data with a model of transmission. This allowed them to identify potential high-risk venues and at-risk populations. The simulations from their model accurately predict confirmed daily case counts in ten of the largest metropolitan areas (such as Chicago, New York City and San Francisco). T

Why deforestation and extinctions make pandemics more likely

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nature A public domain image. As humans diminish biodiversity by cutting down forests and building more infrastructure, they’re increasing the risk of disease pandemics such as COVID-19. Many ecologists have long suspected this, but a new study helps to reveal why: while some species are going extinct, those that tend to survive and thrive — rats and bats, for instance — are more likely to host potentially dangerous pathogens that can then jump to humans. Details here.

Global death rate from rising temperatures projected to surpass the current death rate of all infectious diseases combined

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The Climate Impact Lab A PinP photo. This summer, the world is experiencing record hot temperatures: A weather station in Death Valley, California, clocked one of the hottest temperatures ever observed on Earth. Simultaneously, the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating mortality impact and economic fallout are demanding society prioritize public health like never before. Details here.

Beyond Covid 19 - Defeating the virus is just the beginning!

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by Larry Powell The task of  building a safer, healthier planet, surely, will only begin anew once we have defeated this beastly pandemic. So, are there lessons we can learn from Covid that we can actually use to blunt the assault of that other existential threat - manmade climate change? Smoke obscures the sun in one of the increasing number of wildfires in recent years - infernos which are starting earlier, lasting longer and burning more intensely. A Wikimedia photo. The steps being implemented globally to counter the deadly virus, Covid 19, have surely been sweeping, drastic and unprecedented.  And rightly so. While we could argue over which crisis is more grave, one important reality seems clear. As with every other contagion to have attacked human civilization in past, Covid 19, too,   will pass.  Sadly, if we do not take steps which are similarly drastic to the ones now happening during the pandemic,  that will not be the case with the climate crisi

Defending climate in the age of Covid 19.

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by Larry Powell An Australian sun, shrouded in bushfire smoke. A public domain photo. As Kermit the frog famously said, “It isn’t easy being green.” And, in a world which is, by necessity, now consumed in the battle against a pandemic, it’s even harder. It’s almost as if that other “existential threat,” manmade climate change, has been forgotten, even tho it never really received the attention it deserved in the first place!   It’s both encouraging and bewildering to watch just how this latest, terrible and unprecedented chapter in our history, is playing out;   E ncouraging because so many of us are actually heeding the advice of our best minds in epidemiology by hand-washing, physical-distancing and self-isolating. This is surely saving countless lives from the deadly maw of the “Covid beast.” By contrast, our climatologists - who’ve been warning us for a generation that our planet is on a dangerous trajectory toward “hothouse Earth” if we don’t eliminate or drasticall

What does conservation have to do with Covid-19?

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WORLD  LAND  TRUST Bush meat for sale in Togo. Photo by  PGskot As the news continues to be dominated by the Covid-19 crisis, CEO Jonathan Barnard reflects on the conversations about conservation that have arisen from the pandemic. Story here.

COVID-19: only about 6% of actual infections have likely been detected worldwide

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University of Göttingen Actual number of infections may already have reached several tens of millions. Story here.

Coronavirus latest: pandemic could have killed 40 million without any action

nature Updates on the respiratory illness that has infected hundreds of thousands of people and killed several thousand. Story here.

Is factory farming to blame for coronavirus?

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The Guardian Scientists are tracing the path of Sars-CoV-2 from a wild animal host – but we need to look at the part played in the outbreak by industrial food production. Story here.