News

High Transmission Capacity of Pathogens in Wildlife Trade

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High Transmission Capacity of Pathogens in Wildlife Trade
(August 24, 2020) An article in El Pais this week highlights the recently published important findings of WCS scientists that prevalence of coronaviruses in rodents traded for food increased along the wildlife trade chain in Vietnam, from trappers to markets, to restaurants. These findings demonstrate the risk for amplification of zoonotic pathogens along the commercial trade chain for wild animals traded for human consumption.  A study warns of the high transmission capacity of pathogens in live animal...

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The Next Virus Pandemic Is Not Far Away

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The Next Virus Pandemic Is Not Far Away
(August 11, 2020) Joe Walston, senior vice-president at the WCS, spoke with the Financial Times, highlighting the risk that trade in wildlife for products such as exotic food, fur and alternative medicines poses for emerging diseases:“We have had zoonotic diseases in the past, but they’ve been rare with large periods of time between the outbreaks,” he said. “Now, the regularity . . . is increasing. And it will continue to increase until we decide to reassess our relationship with trading a...

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In Africa, Wildlife Raises the Risk of Deadly Diseases

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In Africa, Wildlife Raises the Risk of Deadly Diseases
(August 08, 2020) The Wildlife Conservation Society's Central Africa Program has identified key, multi-sectoral steps needed to decrease the risk of future wildlife disease spillovers to humans and to prevent their spread through secondary transmission from person to person. Such actions include substantially expanding already successful wildlife disease surveillance and public health awareness efforts in rural areas, and ending urban bushmeat consumption which threatens the food security and food sovereignty of ...

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STATEMENT: On the UN Environment Programme report on zoonotic disease

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STATEMENT: On the UN Environment Programme report on zoonotic disease
(July 10, 2020) WCS commends the recent UNEP report "Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission," and welcomes its 10 recommendations to help prevent future outbreaks. However, they are not sufficient if we are truly to prevent another COVID-like pandemic. WCS believes bolder steps are required. 

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Today is World Zoonoses Day

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Today is World Zoonoses Day
(July 06, 2020)  Zoonotic diseases result from pathogens jumping or spilling over between animals and humans. Think rabies, lyme disease, West Nile virus, HIV and Ebola. Today, as COVID-19 ravages our communities, we all understand the impact they can have.  Between 1940 and 2004, more than 335 emerging infectious disease outbreaks, involving 183 distinct pathogens, were reported worldwide (more than 50 per decade) and the rate of disease emergence is increasing.  We must act to reduce the l...

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