Pandemics and the capitalist destruction of nature
by Daniel Tanuro
The pandemic we’re coping with is a zoonosis. Zoonoses are infectious diseases caused by pathogens jumping species from animals to humans. The pathogen may be a virus, a bacterium or a prion.
So far as we know, zoonoses have been present throughout human history. Scientists estimate they’ve caused about 50% of all human disease, and they’re becoming more frequent. For the past thirty years, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 60% of emerging infectious diseases have been zoonoses – even 70%, according to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) special report on pandemics – and three quarters of all new pathogens present in humans come from animal species. AIDS, Zika, Chikungunya, Ebola, H1N1, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, H5N1, SARS, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other diseases of the last few decades were zoonoses.