South Africa: Recipe for Disaster - All the Ingredients to Make the Perfect Pandemic


Wildlife, the increased human population and the intertwined livelihoods of both, are the main ingredients to making the perfect pandemic. A pinch of poor regulations for illegal wildlife trade, peppered with a demand for wildlife as a delicacy make for a true pandemic; an experience we are most likely to have in the future over and over again.

Virological history has repeatedly given us warnings that rapid human population growth rate that encroaches into natural habitats will result in a global pandemic, and we have all ignored the signs, repeatedly, said experts in a Daily Maverick webinar hosted by Our Burning Planet senior journalist Tiara Walters.

Daily Maverick was one of the first to cover reports from a US research team that the Covid-19 pandemic may be a zoonotic virus, and that bats could have been the vectors of the virus, carried to humans from the endangered pangolin, one of the most trafficked mammals.

Head of medical virology at Stellenbosch University, Wolfgang Preiser, said in the webinar that there are numerous occurrences of Covid-19 in different species of bats that do not cause harm to their hosts, though there are a few that have the ability to transmit to humans,...

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