A few days ago the #Congolese microbiologist #Jean-Jacques #Tamfum, who in 1976 he was part of the first team to fight the virus that causes #Ebola, affirmed that humanity has been facing an unknown number of new and potentially fatal viruses, which could cause dire consequences globally. #Something similar expressed authorities of the #World #Health #Organization, after warning that #Covid-19 will not be “The last pandemic”.
#In this regard and taking into account what happened throughout history with those deadly and extremely contagious diseases that have spread throughout the world, killing thousands if not millions of people, among which the so-called #Flu stands out in the last century. #Española (1918) and now #Covid-19, the infectious disease doctor #Rodrigo #Cruz, director of the #Center for #Diagnosis and #Research of #Infectious #Diseases of the #School of #Medicine of the #University of #Valparaíso, affirms that the possibility that this type of phenomenon will be repeated in the near future #It is not only feasible or expected but “natural”.
#As explained by this specialist in emerging pathogens, the appearance of diseases of rapid transmissibility and high risk of mortality for people has always been a constant that haunts humans, but current conditions allow us to affirm that from now on this type of phenomenon it will become more and more common and frequent.
“The possibilities are even greater than before, due to the extreme global interconnection that exists and that has been favored by technological advances. The fact of taking a plane and being in a few hours anywhere on the planet -even in the middle of the jungle or in an unexplored area- and returning in the same way to our home is helping to spread new and unknown microorganisms much more rapidly and regularly -bacteria, viruses and fungi- that were previously only found in certain geographical areas and whose contact with human beings was exceptional and, therefore, used to have a much slower and more limited impact, ”says #Dr. #Cruz.
#Regarding the latter, the specialist says that the key to stopping expansion #And being able to control a pandemic in the future is always about keeping the population informed, instilling prevention habits and, by the way, the possibility of having effective vaccines.
The UV infectologist doctor specifies that the factor that triggers the appearance of most of the new highly transmissible diseases that are emerging today in the world it is the greater proximity of the human being with wild animals, due to their hunting or capture or contact with farm animals.
“In general, these are viruses that are introduced into urban environments by means of wild animals, as happened with #Covid-19 and before with swine flu, SARS and MERS, to mention just some of the best known. Therefore, if we think about a probable future pandemic, I would say that it will come and that we can expect that one with similar characteristics will emerge, that is, due to another coronavirus or a new strain of influenza ”.
#Regarding #Chile, #Cruz warns that #Yes, a pandemic of these characteristics could be incubated and that its most feasible reservoir could be migratory birds and also wild waterfowl, in addition to bats present in different ecosystems. They can naturally carry viruses that could lead to infections and later pandemics.
#In general, these are mainly infections that They are spread by direct contact, consumption of meat or handling of the affected animal or via bite.
#But there is also another class of pathogens that could arise, since last year #Dr. #Cruz himself found in #Limache a dangerous fungus (#Cryptococcus gattii) originating from subtropical climates and affects animals and humans and whose yeasts, when inhaled by people, can cause severe lung infections, meningitis and a series of complex lesions on the skin, soft tissues, lymph nodes, bones, and joints.
The case was known because a veterinarian in that locality had to care for a cat that was infected and then died. “Their presence at the local level was possibly due to some contaminated plant substrate involuntarily entered the country or by an infected animal that was transferred to said commune from an endemic area. #In other words, the indicated pattern repeats itself ”, concludes the infectologist #Rodrigo #Cruz.
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