Coronavirus is still spreading throughout the globe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronavirus is part of a family of multiple viruses common in many species of animals, including bats, camels, cows and cats. These viruses, including coronavirus, SARS, and MERS, can then be transferred to humans.

Scientists have now traced the source of the virus to pangolins. As humans continue to interact with animals, destroying habitats and getting closer to animals, the spread of disease becomes commonplace. Viruses can mutate in the spread from humans to animals, making them dangerous to both. A common path to infection is if a human eats an infected butchered animal. The virus then easily passes human to human. In Wuhan, 31 of 33 positive samples of the coronavirus came from the section of the market that held wildlife.

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SARS and Coronavirus are only some of what could be many diseases that endanger humans. Robert Webster, an expert on influenza viruses at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, told the Washington Post, ” There’s a vast number of viruses in the animal world that have not spread to humans, and have the potential to do so.”

Viruses passing between animals and humans has become increasingly common. Science writer David Quammen spoke to NPR about viruses’ transfer from animals to humans. Quammen said, ” When there’s an animal host, then it becomes much, much more difficult to eradicate or even control an infectious virus. This novel coronavirus — whether or not it turns out to be a huge catastrophe, or something we can control — one thing we know is that it won’t be the last.”

He spoke about habitat destruction and humans “disrupting” all areas of the planet. Quammen said, “We humans are so abundant and so disruptive on this planet. … We’re cutting the tropical forests. We’re building work camps in those forests and villages. We’re eating the wildlife. You go into a forest and you shake the trees — literally and figuratively — and viruses fall out.”

You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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Catch up on our coronavirus coverage in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

You can avoid getting sick by reducing your dairy and meat consumption. Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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