With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, the Wildlife Conservation Society is calling for governments to recognize the global public health threats of live animal markets and to strengthen enforcement efforts on trafficking of wild animals. Poorly regulated, live animal markets mixed with illegal wildlife trade offer a unique opportunity for viruses to spillover from wildlife hosts into the human population and for viruses to exchange viral components amongst the multiple species being traded creating new viruses with new host spectrums.
In this short video, Dr. Christian Walzer, executive director of the WCS Wildlife Health Program, explains how this recent outbreak started and how we can prevent future outbreaks. For more information, go to newsroom.wcs.org
Images by WCS Vietnam – PREDICT Team, Elizabeth Bennett, Chris Walzer, Zanne Labuschagne and Mark Leong