The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

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sTeamTraen
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by sTeamTraen » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:50 pm

If I understand Nezumi correctly, farmed meat is less likely to be a problem than exotic wild creatures.

I have been unimpressed by the claims of the more militant wing of veganism that COVID-19 proves we should stop consuming animal products forthwith. I have a lot of time for vegans and don't eat meat every day, but it is completely unrealistic to imagine that the majority of the world's population is going to renounce goat or sheep or chicken meat as an important source of protein and in many cases a culturally important thing. I also wonder if one can make better use of some shapes of land (eg, much of central Wales) than turning grass and gorse into sheep.
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Bird on a Fire » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:33 pm

sTeamTraen wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:50 pm
If I understand Nezumi correctly, farmed meat is less likely to be a problem than exotic wild creatures.
Wild animals may generally be the original source of novel zoonoses, but these viruses typically move between wild and farmed animals very readily.

As I noted above, most of the other near-miss pandemics (mostly flus) have been strongly associated with farming. The densities alone are a factor, along with specific husbandry practices etc.
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nezumi
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by nezumi » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:41 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:33 pm
sTeamTraen wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:50 pm
If I understand Nezumi correctly, farmed meat is less likely to be a problem than exotic wild creatures.
Wild animals may generally be the original source of novel zoonoses, but these viruses typically move between wild and farmed animals very readily.

As I noted above, most of the other near-miss pandemics (mostly flus) have been strongly associated with farming. The densities alone are a factor, along with specific husbandry practices etc.
I think the key here is the transmission factor is still human incursion, the farmed animals are just the vector, the reservoir and the birthing pool. If we* weren't putting animals in crowded pens right in the middle of jungles we* just colonised the problem would be less urgent.

There are two main groups that cause disease, to my mind, diseases that have co-evolved with us and our animal slaves/familiars/companions/cupboard lovers and ones that are entirely novel. This is obviously not exclusive - there are loads that break this general observation, but entirely novel diseases like Ebola or Hantavirus cause absolute messy havoc but are quite hard to pass on, huge death tolls but they don't get too far cos they either kill the host too quick or they need some obscure transmission method like blood in the eyes or something. Diseases that have been with us for a long time have developed to be successful viruses to humans and our animals, simply because viruses that pass more effectively between us were more likely to survive, evolutionary pressure is also on their lethality, downwards. Hosts that live longer serve you better.

Outliers like the 1918 pandemic flu, swine flu, coronavirus and so on only have the power to kill us** because our entire system is a precariously stacked house of cards, something like hantavirus getting respiratory would actually be doomsday (I use, of course, the standard definition of doomsday as "more than 30% of everyone, dead, horribly and gorily while wild dogs roam the streets eating unburied corpses")

So I'd say yes to both of you but it's a bit more complicated than that. And I could go on for HOURS.

* OK, this is primarily, sadly a third world problem. We can have problems here in the west with bovine TB and prion diseases so we're not exempt from bad-practice charges, but the fact that the UK at least has systematically obliterated its wildlife for generations means there's none to be a reservoir. This makes us very bad, regardless.

** With me it also has chronic health problems but for everyone the whole world has the potential to just disintegrate. I'm not saying it will.

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Oct 31, 2020 3:09 pm

Escaping the ‘Era of Pandemics’: Experts Warn Worse Crises to Come Options Offered to Reduce Risk
Future pandemics will emerge more often, spread more rapidly, do more damage to the world economy and kill more people than COVID-19 unless there is a transformative change in the global approach to dealing with infectious diseases, warns a major new report on biodiversity and pandemics by 22 leading experts from around the world.

Convened by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) for an urgent virtual workshop about the links between degradation of nature and increasing pandemic risks, the experts agree that escaping the era of pandemics is possible, but that this will require a seismic shift in approach from reaction to prevention.

COVID-19 is at least the sixth global health pandemic since the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918, and although it has its origins in microbes carried by animals, like all pandemics its emergence has been entirely driven by human activities, says the report released on Thursday. It is estimated that another 1.7 million currently ‘undiscovered’ viruses exist in mammals and birds – of which up to 850,000 could have the ability to infect people.

“There is no great mystery about the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic – or of any modern pandemic”, said Dr. Peter Daszak, President of EcoHealth Alliance and Chair of the IPBES workshop. “The same human activities that drive climate change and biodiversity loss also drive pandemic risk through their impacts on our environment. Changes in the way we use land; the expansion and intensification of agriculture; and unsustainable trade, production and consumption disrupt nature and increase contact between wildlife, livestock, pathogens and people. This is the path to pandemics.”

Pandemic risk can be significantly lowered by reducing the human activities that drive the loss of biodiversity, by greater conservation of protected areas, and through measures that reduce unsustainable exploitation of high biodiversity regions. This will reduce wildlife-livestock-human contact and help prevent the spillover of new diseases, says the report.

“The overwhelming scientific evidence points to a very positive conclusion,” said Dr. Daszak. “We have the increasing ability to prevent pandemics – but the way we are tackling them right now largely ignores that ability. Our approach has effectively stagnated – we still rely on attempts to contain and control diseases after they emerge, through vaccines and therapeutics. We can escape the era of pandemics, but this requires a much greater focus on prevention in addition to reaction.”
Executive summary
Full report

Recommended reading. IPBES are like the IPCC of biodiversity issues and should be taken pretty seriously.
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Nov 04, 2020 9:32 pm

Denmark will cull its mink population of up to 17 million after a mutation of the coronavirus found in the animals spread to humans, the prime minister said on Wednesday.

Health authorities found virus strains in humans and in mink which showed decreased sensitivity against antibodies, potentially lowering the efficacy of future vaccines, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-heal ... SKBN27K1X6

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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Nov 05, 2020 6:54 pm

Bird flu: Culls in Dutch and German farms over outbreaks
The Dutch authorities are racing to contain a bird flu outbreak at two poultry farms and the same strain - H5N8 - has also infected chickens and wild birds in north Germany.

A farm in the eastern Dutch town of Puiflijk and another nearby have been told to cull 200,000 chickens.

Chickens are also infected at a small poultry farm in Nordfriesland, part of Germany's Schleswig-Holstein state.

H5N8 is very low-risk for humans, but the economic cost can be significant.

Health experts say people should avoid touching sick or dead birds, and chicken and eggs are safe to eat if cooked thoroughly, as that kills the virus.

A poultry farm in Frodsham, north-west England, also has cases: a cull of 13,000 birds was ordered there on Monday.

A smaller cull is under way at a farm in Kent, in the south-east, where the H5N2 avian influenza strain was detected this week.

H5N8 has been detected in migratory birds from Russia. A huge cull was carried out on farms in Russia's western Kostroma region late last month, to contain an outbreak.

The Dutch farms affected are just outside Nijmegen, 30km (19 miles) from the German border.

Containment zones have been set up around the farms, as well as around the north German farm in Oland, Nordfriesland. Farmers have been urged to keep their poultry indoors.

German public broadcaster NDR says more than 1,000 dead wild birds - mainly geese and ducks - have been found on the Nordfriesland coast, most likely infected with bird flu.
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by jimbob » Thu Nov 05, 2020 7:03 pm

Does the Danish mink mutation of SARS-COV-2 count? It's spread back to humans, and apparently is in a part of the genome that the vaccines are trying to target?

CBA to add links - just call me LPM.
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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by jdc » Thu Nov 05, 2020 7:35 pm

jimbob wrote:
Thu Nov 05, 2020 7:03 pm
Does the Danish mink mutation of SARS-COV-2 count? It's spread back to humans, and apparently is in a part of the genome that the vaccines are trying to target?

CBA to add links - just call me LPM.
s'alright, Chops has already provided the necessary.

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Re: The Next Pandemic: A meaty issue

Post by Woodchopper » Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:28 am

Some commentary on the Danish minks.
https://twitter.com/ballouxfrancois/sta ... 04067?s=21

tl;dr stop getting your knickers in a twist

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