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In November Netflix released a documentary about the coronavirus-like epidemic and Bill Gates spoke there like a real Nostradamus. He said we should invest more in the development of vaccines against such diseases.
When last year in November, a documentary series episode from Netflix called “The Next Pandemic” came out – nobody actually didn’t give it too much importance. However, only a month after – boy, how it started to be popular. The episode describes the ways how viruses are spreading and evolving into epidemic situations.
The story starts with traveling across India, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United States and explains historical cases of pandemics like it was the Spanish flu of 1918 or Ebola and the bird flu.
Chinese Wet Markets are Batch of Disease
The point is that the documentary says that in wet markets in China, people are trading with various live animals who are then being slaughtered on sight by vendors who then sell meat to consumers.
And, just to explain a bit. The author of this article has been traveling through Asia a lot. And I love food. And I’ve seen wet markets in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bali, Taiwan – and they are all pretty normal and decent. Maybe a little bit dirtier because of the climate there, but nothing special. But I couldn’t go to mainland China wet markets. Wushu, Shenzhen and even Shanghai seem to be another culture.
In Humid Conditions the Virus Evolves
From eating pigeons and dogs and rats and lizards and bats – to not giving a damn about any hygiene, not to talk about any humanity when killing those animals at the spot. So yes. When Netflix describes the wet markets as a disease X factory – they couldn’t be more right. When you have such conditions (humidity, dirt, no water, no soap, blood, sun) it’s easy for any virus to mutate and spares to humans.
The documentary says:
“This is a wet market in the Lianghua, China. Unlike markets in much of the West, where animals are already dead when they arrive, this wet market sells meat that’s very fresh. It’s killed on sight. That’s what makes it a disease X factory. Many different animal species are stacked on top of each other, their blood and meat mixed, before being passed from human to human. All the while, their viruses are mixing and mutating, increasing the odds that one finds its way to humans.”
The wet market from Netflix’s story is in fact totally similar to the seafood market in Wuhan where coronavirus evolved.
Snakes and Bats – the Main Culprits
Scientists believe that the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) comes from snakes and bats. Both animals were sold live in the Wuhan seafood market, which made humans vulnerable to the respiratory disease.
Bats were “guilty” as well in the SARS outbreak in 2003. After several people were infected, it then transferred from humans to humans, causing a pandemic. On Thursday the newest information was that at least 170 people are dead and more than 7,000 cases have been confirmed in mainland China, as the Wuhan coronavirus spreads across Asia and the rest of the world.
The coronavirus is spreading rapidly and scientists across the globe are rushing to find a vaccine for it. The latest news says that Russia will join China’s efforts to develop a vaccine for the deadly novel coronavirus in an effort to stop spreading the disease.
A group of virologists in Australia also managed to replicate the coronavirus outside of China to help with diagnosis and help with efficient testing.
Bill Gates as Nostradamus
But, one player in Netflix’s documentary is a well-known billionaire Bill Gates who now sounds like a real live Nostradamus. He said that when a pandemic that the world has not seen before emerges, no matter the size, people regret not investing more for vaccines.
“If a disease comes along that we haven’t seen before, typically it would take four or five years to come up with a vaccine against that disease. And new technologies might shorten those times.”
When a pandemic comes along of any size, we always look back and wish we invested more.
The coronavirus, with its roots in Wuhan’s seafood market, eerily replicates previous virus outbreaks like the SARS virus that was also caused by live animal markets. The number of people that have been confirmed as infected by coronavirus has risen to well over 8,000, surpassing the SARS outbreak from 2002-2003 in that respect, but still with less reported deaths.
The question remains on should scientists and institutions thought before on investing more in order to prepare for potential outbreaks modeled after SARS, and would that lessened the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.