Zoonotic diseases are illnesses caused by germs that are originate in non-human animals and are passed to people. All available evidence for COVID-19 suggests that our current pandemic has a zoonotic source. Experts estimate that about 60% of known infectious diseases in people can be spread by animals, and 3 out of every 4 new diseases in people originated in animals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As the world is under siege by the coronavirus, we are just learning that a new strain of flu that has the potential to become a pandemic has been identified in China by scientists. Are we going to learn from our current sad state of affairs or continue to act as if pandemics are a small price to pay to eat "mmm...bacon" and other animal parts? I hope we can do better.
"Prof. James Wood, head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, said the work "comes as a salutary reminder" that we are constantly at risk of new emergence of pathogens, and that farmed animals, with which humans have greater contact than with wildlife, may act as the source for important pandemic viruses."