Worldcoronaviras (WCVs) are an exceptionally pathogenic family of infections that affect human populations and wildlife. They cause a wide range of diseases and are considered a top global health threat.
These viruses are causing serious respiratory illnesses, including pneumonia and encephalitis in humans. They also impact wildlife, contaminating water supplies and ecosystems.
Impact on Human Health
Worldcoronaviras are dangerous viruses that can cause serious respiratory illnesses, including pneumonia and bronchitis. They can also spread to pregnant women and their growing fetuses, which can lead to birth defects or death in infants.
The virus is transmitted through contact with contaminated respiratory secretions or surfaces. Infection can occur when an infected person breathes, coughs, sneezes or talks with a person who has the virus.
Symptoms typically appear within two days of being exposed to the virus. They may be accompanied by fever, sore throat, muscle aches and headaches.
Superspreading events, in which large clusters of infections can be traced to a single index case, are thought to play a role in the spread of worldcoronaviras. These events are most common among individuals who are crowded indoors and have poor ventilation.
International organizations have stepped up their efforts to help combat the effects of worldcoronaviras, providing funding for healthcare and vaccination initiatives. They have also provided technical expertise and guidance to health authorities in developing countries.
Impact on Wildlife
While the worldcoronaviras pandemic has had a devastating impact on human health, the impacts of the pandemic are also being felt by wild animals. The origins of the virus are still unknown, but it is thought that it may have come from a wildlife market in Wuhan, China.
The pandemic is having a significant impact on bird conservation globally, with fieldwork and conservation projects becoming stymied due to travel restrictions and social distancing measures. It has also had a negative effect on institutional support for wildlife conservation, with funding streams and enforcement eroded.
PTES and its partners are working to investigate the best conservation actions for wildlife in the current situation. For example, in Madagascar, PTES’ partner SEED is replanting green corridors between forest patches to protect tree-dwelling lemurs.
Impact on Society
The worldcoronaviras pandemic is attacking societies at their core. It is upending social and economic systems, and widening inequality worldwide.
As with other epidemics, poverty and inequalities are a major trigger for transmission, spread and mortality. For this reason, immediate and purposeful action to save lives and livelihoods must also include social protection for the poorest in society.
Traders are often the first to be affected, as they depend on transport to work, which has been disrupted by lockdown measures in many countries. It is feared that this could lead to an economy crisis.
The impact of COVID-19 is also being felt in big, services-reliant economies, such as the UK and Italy, with millions of jobs lost. The travel industry has been particularly badly damaged, with airlines cutting flights and customers cancelling business trips and holidays.
Impact on the Environment
The global outbreak of worldcoronaviras has impacted every aspect of human lives. The pandemic has affected people at all age groups, including those living below the poverty line, individuals with disabilities, older people, and indigenous communities.
The impact of worldcoronaviras on the environment is also affecting wildlife and nature. Lockdowns have reduced ecotourism rates, which has negatively affected many wildlife conservation organizations.
Rather than rolling back legal protections for protected areas, governments should bolster them. This will help to protect biodiversity and reduce the rate of climate change, two major drivers of disease outbreaks.
It is also important to avoid habitat destruction. This can encourage animal-borne diseases to emerge because it decreases the number of trees in natural forests and open wetlands, which keep viruses out.
Likewise, air pollution can increase the chances of disease emergence and spread, so efforts to reduce emissions should be ongoing. This includes improving transportation technologies and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.