Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

5 Ways Environmental Damage Drives Human Diseases Like COVID-19

Popular
5 Ways Environmental Damage Drives Human Diseases Like COVID-19
A pangolin is released into the wild in North Sumatra, Indonesia on April 27, 2015 after being seized from the illegal wildlife trade. NurPhoto / NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Dipika Kadaba

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that human health is inextricably part of the ecosystem we exist in.

While the pandemic, which likely arose from the global wildlife trade, has brought entire industries to a screeching halt, the health consequences of other types of environmental damage are still ignored in favor of business-as-usual activities.


According to recent studies, zoonotic diseases — those pathogens that can jump from animals to humans — are responsible for an estimated 75% of emerging infectious diseases worldwide. In the United States, approximately 72% of zoonotic diseases threatening human health since the year 2000 originated from the legal or illegal wildlife trade. The COVID-19 pandemic may be exceptional for its reach and social disruption, but its link to the destructive trade in wild animals is just one of many examples of how human-made changes to the environment are spreading diseases.

Watch our video below to see some of the ways human health and environmental health are interconnected:

Dipika Kadaba is an ecologist who uses data visualization and design to communicate environmental issues in her role as The Revelator's visual storyteller. Her interdisciplinary work originates in her background in environmental health research as a veterinarian, a graduate degree in conservation science, and a lifetime spent creating webcomics and animations for fun.

Reposted with permission from The Revelator.

Sun Cable hopes to start construction of the world's largest solar farm in 2023. Sun Cable
A large expanse of Australia's deserted Outback will house the world's largest solar farm and generate enough energy to export power to Singapore, as The Guardian reported.
Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Construction on the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric station in 2015. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Tara Lohan

In 1999 a cheering crowd watched as a backhoe breached a hydroelectric dam on Maine's Kennebec River. The effort to help restore native fish populations and the river's health was hailed as a success and ignited a nationwide movement that spurred 1,200 dam removals in two decades.

Read More Show Less

Trending

We pet owners know how much you love your pooch. It's your best friend. It gives you pure happiness and comfort when you're together. But there are times that dogs can be very challenging, especially if they are suffering from a certain ailment. As a dog owner, all you want to do is ease whatever pain or discomfort your best friend is feeling.

Read More Show Less
A new study has revealed that Earth's biggest mass extinction was triggered by volcanic activity that led to ocean acidification. Illustration by Dawid Adam Iurino (PaleoFactory, Sapienza University of Rome) for Jurikova et al (2020)

The excess carbon dioxide emitted by human activity since the start of the industrial revolution has already raised the Earth's temperature by more than one degree Celsius, increased the risk of extreme hurricanes and wildfires and killed off more than half of the corals in the Great Barrier Reef. But geologic history shows that the impacts of greenhouse gases could be much worse.

Read More Show Less
Coronavirus-sniffing dogs Miina and Kössi (R) are seen in Vantaa, Finland on September 2, 2020. Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva / AFP/ Getty Images

By Teri Schultz

Europe is in a panic over the second wave of COVID-19, with infection rates sky-rocketing and GDP plummeting. Belgium has just announced it will no longer test asymptomatic people, even if they've been in contact with someone who has the disease, because the backlog in processing is overwhelming. Other European countries are also struggling to keep up testing and tracing.

Meanwhile in a small cabin in Helsinki airport, for his preferred payment of a morsel of cat food, rescue dog Kossi needs just a few seconds to tell whether someone has coronavirus.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch