Scientists believe that the coronavirus is similar to other pandemics and outbreaks in that it started in an animal. In this case, most likely a bat. Bats are also likely responsible for SARS, MERS, and Ebola.

HIV, Influenza A, Lassa Fever, Nipah and Marburg are all diseases that originated in animals and migrated to humans. All the virus needs is the opportunity to transmit. And according to scientists, humans are making animal-human transmission much easier.

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By trading wildlife around the globe, factory farming, deforestation and increased urbanization, we are giving animals more chances to get close to us and infect us with a host of viruses.

Because we can now travel around the globe on airplanes and be thousands of miles away in a day, viruses can spread swiftly between countries. And scientists ask that we need to take the spread of the coronavirus as a warning.

Peter Daszak, a disease ecologist who is president of EcoHealth Alliance, told the Washington Post, “Pandemics as a whole are increasing in frequency. It’s not a random act of God. It’s caused by what we do to the environment. We need to start connecting that chain and say we need to do these things in a less risky way.”

Bats and rodents are common carriers of disease, and scientists now say that 70% of new diseases found in humans come from animals and that there might be 1.7 million undiscovered viruses in animals. Wildlife trade, exotic animal markets and increased population are all a recipe for increased pandemics.

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“One of the key interfaces for these spillover events to occur are markets and the international trade of wildlife,” Chris Walzer, executive director for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s global health program, told reporters.

Anthony Fauci, the United States infectious-diseases expert, said in an interview that the global community should end exotic animal markets, like those that scientists believe hosted coronavirus, “It just boggles my mind how, when we have so many diseases that emanate out of that unusual human-animal interface, that we don’t just shut it down,” he said.

Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Scientists believe that the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, started at an exotic animal market in Wuhan, China. You can help stop the incidence of viruses like these by signing this petition to ban the wildlife trade.

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Stay healthy by reducing animal products from your diet. 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.

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

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