The corona virus just like Ebola, bird flu, Zika virus, SARS, MERS, H1N1, Influenza is a zoonotic. A zoonotic disease is one that can be transmitted from one species to another a phenomenon scientifically called a spill over from animals to humans. The spill over can be direct or through a vector or intermediate host like a tick, mosquito, bird, flies, livestock e.t.c Direct contact to maybe a dog can give you rabies and in some cases it’s the other way round from humans to animals something called Reverse zoonosis. SARS is believed to have been transmitted from cats, MERS from some camels to humans and theories are indicating that the covid spill over to humans originated from bats.
Well Project Act Africa picked interest in viruses due to their stubbornness and how such tiny creatures give man a run for his money. Antibiotics have neither curative nor preventive powers against viruses because these creatures are acellular and program host cells to produce more resistant copies of themselves that even spread faster. RNA viruses have a high tendency to form variants because RNA is generally an instable compound as compared to DNA. Studies have indicated that the corona virus thrives well on hard surfaces like plastics and metals like doorknobs so animal fur may not be a favorable niche though the research is still on going. What is clear though is that the virus can be transmitted through fluids especially respiratory fluids and recently some studies say also breath. We come into contact with animal pathogens everyday but probably lack récepteurs to trigger the spill over. This is also evidence that maybe billions of viruses are circulating around waiting for that moment for the spillover to happen. This is evidence that the war against viruses is far from over.
So how did corona virus spill over from it’s intermediate host to humans? Science stipulates that for this spill over to occur the host must have specific récepteurs to lodge this antigène. Two theories exist then. One is that maybe the virus replicated and mutated in its intermediate host a bat for example and attained a form that can bind specifically to récepteurs in humans or the virus kept on being transmitted from one human to another adapting a conformity that fits well on our récepteurs. So scientifically the first human carrier must have been in close proximity with the intermediate host(bats) and gave the virus replication time. Project Act Africa calls upon the world to know that the more we encroach on nature and wildlife we increase the frequency of these zoonotics. Since the 80s 87 new zoonotics have been discovered and others are yet to be discovered. Humans need to acknowledge that it’s not the bats to blame for Covid rather our irresponsible behavior and unfair treatment of Mother Nature.
Project Act Africa would also like to stress the fact that in order to prevent resurgence of this virus and others like it man should rethink the way he interacts with nature and remember that encroachment on biodiversity has consequences. The same conversation should be shifted from policy makers to grassroot live stock owners and poachers illegally hunting wildlife on the chaos and panic they can cause globally. Globalization is an easy target for the rise of pandemics but man should know globalization is far from the cause.
Let conserving Mother Nature, curbing climate change and consumption of well cooked animal products including milk be part of the lessons we learn post pandemic.
Article by : Henry Junior Yiga. Author Hathor the goddess MSc Biochemistry