GENEVA (AP) - The United Nations Health Authority on Tuesday called on countries to suspend sales of live animals caught from the wild at food markets as an emergency measure. Wildlife is one of the main sources of emerging infectious diseases such as the coronavirus.
The World Health Organization, supported by key partners, issued new guidance that animals - especially wild animals - are “the source of more than 70 percent of all emerging infectious diseases in humans, many of which are caused by novel viruses”.
The origins of the coronavirus more than a year ago have been the source of intense speculation. Much of it was about the likelihoodthat it was transmitted by bats and passed on to humans via an intermediate species sold as food or medicine in traditional Chinese wet markets. The pandemic first emerged in the city of Wuhan, China.
WHO highlighted the risk of direct transmission of emerging infectious diseases to humans in contact with body fluids of infected animals and noted the “additional risk” of ingesting it in or in places where such animals are housed where this would have been contaminated with such viruses.
“Globally, traditional markets can play a central role in supplying large populations with food and livelihoods,” says a WHO statement.“However, the ban on the sale of animals can protect the health of people - both those who work there and those who shop there.”
The WHO has joined the World Organization for Animal Health and the United Nations Environment Program in its analysis and led to the new recommendations.The Seattle Times does not add comment threads on stories from news services such as the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, or Bloomberg News. Rather, we focus on discussions among our own employees about local stories. You can find more information about our.