Where Do Viruses Come From?
Fear of the Novel Coronavirus has spread across the world, as thousands have died worldwide, and the virus has now made its way out of China and into North America, Europe, and Australia.
Governments are taking necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this highly infectious disease, however, the question must be asked: where did it come from?
In fact, where do most viruses come from?
To the ordinary person, it seems that viruses are created almost out of thin air, and they suddenly spread quickly from person to person before fading out of existence.
To those studying viruses, the truth is a lot more complex. In today’s post, we’re going to try our best to break down how viruses & diseases emerge and spread through humans, and then fade into obscurity after some time.
Our video version of this post has some INCREDIBLE footage, which you can watch right HERE.
We also have a downloadable podcast you can download from the download button above.
Part I: Where Do Viruses Originate From?
Most viruses & diseases that sweep over humanity actually had their origins in other animals species, and then “species-hopped” via a mutation over to humans.
In some cases, the disease reached a peaceful co-existence with the animal. For example, several bats have deadly diseases contained inside them, but the virus does not affect the bat enough to kill it. Instead the disease uses bats to help the disease spread to other host creatures.
In other cases, viruses are deadly in other creatures. For example, chimpanzees have had very deadly diseases that wiped many of them out, which later spread over to humans.
Some viruses are adapted for certain climates or regions, and are better adapted at attacking certain types of organisms.
Viruses have existed presumably since the beginning of the creation of life, and they have been evolving alongside all other life forms for as long as we can measure.
Now, this begs the question, how exactly does a virus adapted to attack certain types of animals species-hop over to humans?
Part II: How Do They Species-Hop to Humans
Scientists have determined by looking into the past that many types of agricultural & domestic animals have delivered deadly pathogens to us.
That is, hanging around other animals that humans didn’t originally hang around helped the diseases spread over to us.
For example, smallpox was delivered to humans through camels, and measles came to us from cattle.
Some humans have developed immunities to various diseases, based on where they were born and whether their society had already spent significant time around certain animals.
When Europeans first came to the American continents, it is well documented that many of the Natives died off because our animals & Europeans spread diseases to them that their immune systems were not yet prepared for.
Those that didn’t have the genetics to fight off what Europeans were already adapted to quickly were eradicated.
Besides hanging around domesticated animals, another way that diseases can be transmitted to us is via bites.
If you are bit by a bat or raccoon, rabies could be spread to you. Raccoons are considered a “rabies vector species,” which means that rabies uses raccoons to help spread itself to other animals.
For this reason if you are ever bit by any animal, even if it hardly left a scratch, it is important to get the wound checked out immediately. In the case of rabies, there is a 99% fatality rate if you don’t get it treated immediately.
Another way the diseases pass over to us is by contaminating our environment. Home infestation is becoming a huge problem in North America & Europe, with wild animals taking over people’s attics and other small areas inside their home.
When the animals pass away or leave waste, this allows the diseases to become airborne and contaminate your air.
A lot of people also don’t consider the effect insects can have.
Mosquitoes are technically considered the deadliest creatures on Earth because they can spread very deadly diseases easily through blood contact, such as malaria, which kills up to roughly 1 million people per year.
Besides direct contact, viruses can mutate and become better adapted to branching onto another species. However, this is more likely to happen when humans are in close contact with a virus that is affecting another species, or bit by that species.
Part III: How To Stop the Spread of Deadly Diseases
Luckily there are things you can do to take care of yourself and make sure that deadly diseases don’t spread to you and harm you, your pets, or your family.
The obvious things to do include taking care of your hygiene, removing trash & waste, washing your hands, and all that good stuff.
Besides that, make sure you go to a hospital immediately if bit or scratched by a wild animal.
Also, if you think you have a wildlife or pest infestation inside of your home, it wouldn’t harm to get a free inspection done by Wildlife x Team International.
We safely & ethically remove wild animals from your home, and restore any damage that they may have caused.
We make sure that your air quality is great, and that there are no diseases that could be spread to you from wildlife & pests secretly in or around your home.
You can check our website out at www.wildlifexteam.com, or give us a call at 855-WILDLIFE.
-Wildlife x Team International