Covid-19 was first recorded in the Chinese city of Wuhan. However, it is not yet clear exactly how the virus emerged. Researchers suspect that the virus initially “spilled over” from bats to humans through an unknown intermediary animal, possibly a pangolin. A study published today finds that changing climate conditions could be linked to a greater diversity of bat species in Yunnan, a province of southwestern China, and its surrounding regions. Early research suggests that the virus causing Covid-19, which is called SARS-CoV-2, could have arisen in this area. The new study suggests that, over the past century, changes to temperature, rainfall and CO2 levels have caused a shift in the type of vegetation found in the region. This shift has seen tropical shrublands increasingly replaced with tropical savannahs and deciduous woodland, creating more habitat suitable for bat species, according to the results.
Independent 5th Feb 2021 read more »
A warming Britain detected its first case of a tick-borne disease similar to Lyme last summer, a parasitic disease with malaria-like symptoms known as “babesiosis”. Illnesses more often associated with warmer climates will become more common as the climate becomes hotter and wetter, a new report from the WWF and other charities including Oxfam and the National Trust says. “The UK is at risk of the spread of infectious diseases like dengue fever, Lyme disease and West Nile fever – which is already present in some European countries – and from an increase in cholera infections from warming seawaters in Europe.
Telegraph 5th Feb 2021 read more »