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About: <p>A community is you and me. A network of social, economic, ecological and many other relationships. We all work together and live in urban, suburban and rural areas. Social sustainability is becoming increasingly important on our small planet. We define: support, quality of life, development, adaptation, rights and labour.</p> <p>We belong to a group of individuals - <a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/society">our society</a> - in which we belong geographically. Certain environmental issues play an important role in our society. Here, sustainable solutions are sought, developed and implemented. This may differ from societies in other countries, but because of our global environmental issues and&nbsp;<span lang="en" tabindex="0">dependence</span>, we must learn to work more together so that we can all benefit from sharing sustainable knowledge to tackle, for example, climate change.</p> <p><a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/green-architecture">Green architecture</a> is important. Building with local materials that can be recycled and reused brings us a big step forward to have less impact on the environment. With green architecture we can build <a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/smart-cities">smart cities</a> where resources can be used more efficiently and information can be shared, thus improving our society, your community.</p> <p><a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/lifestyle">Lifestyle</a> is the way we live, the dynamics of personality. Fashion defines our self and together with food it is getting - at present - an even more important role in our society. It's not just about taste, but especially about the burden that the fashion industry, agriculture and the meat industry have on our resources, especially water.</p> <p>If there was an urge to come up with a sustainable way of living solutions and share these topics globally it&rsquo;s now! WhatsOrb Global Sustainability X-change Platform is for you, storytellers and influencers to write about tiny houses, your experiences and expectations for the future at home and globally.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Global Sustainability X-change, that&rsquo;s what you can do together with WhatsOrb.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.whatsorb.com/newsletter/your-shared-sustainable-ideas-make-our-earth-a-better-place">What's in for me?</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
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Solar Zero Energy Homes: Green Prefab Realty In Sweden
A set of affordable homes for growing families just popped up in Örebro, Sweden and they utilize passive building principles and photovoltaic panels to generate as much energy as they use each year. Stockholm-based Street Monkey Architects designed the zero-energy homes to be well insulated and nearly airtight, with ventilation systems that retain as much heat as possible. A row of homes facing east-west is topped with solar panels. Each home’s pitch is angled to catch as much sun as possible Solar Zero Energy Homes The homes are almost completely powered by rooftop solar panels, and on-site batteries store unused energy that can be sold back to the grid. Additionally, the buildings’ energy consumption is measured on an ongoing basis to adjust for power needs. {youtube}                                   Essential Secrets to Sustainable Net-Zero Solar Homes: Geos Neighborhood                      Geos Neighborhood in Arvada, Colorado, sustainable, net-zero, solar, fossil fuel free homes  Each two-story, 1,600-square-foot structure is composed of six factory-built modules that arrived on-site with finished interiors. Once erected, the facades were connected together to smooth over transitional moments between the homes. Four houses face east-west, while six have a north-south orientation and all of the roofs are topped with solar panels angled toward the path of the sun. The solar panel–topped roofs vary slightly in height for added visual interest. Although the development is designed as an interlocking series of homes, subtle variations give each residence its own character. Some feature white plaster facades, while the row running north to south is finished in a dark, silvery steel. Recommended:  Smart Communities: Eco-Living Through Technology A more detailed shot shows the variation  Wood slatting attached to every other house creates a visual rhythm an element that Street Monkey Architects hopes will provide a sense of individuality for prospective homeowners. Recommended:  Tiny House With Solar Panels Is Off Grid: The Netherlands Each home has a deck with an extended backyard that’s accessed via glass doors The entrance (at the back corner) leads directly into the kitchen, dining room, and living room The kitchen is designed in a U-shape to enable socializing and to optimize space flow The living room, located adjacent to the dining area, leads to the backyard. The homes’ interiors are open and airy. The ground-floor kitchen opens to the dining room, which leads to the the living area. There, two sets of glass doors provide access to a terrace, expanding available living space. Steel stairs suspended by vertical wires allow light to filter to the ground floor. The upper level holds three bedrooms, a family room, and a large bathroom. Recommended:  Off-Grid Homes And Tiny Houses: With Solar Panels And Prefab Metal stairs attached via wires allow an abundance of light to reach the first floor At the top of the stairs is a family room with natural wood floors and white walls The family room sits adjacent to the bedrooms and a large bathroom.  A master bedroom on the second floor gets natural light through glass doors.  Before you go! Recommended:  Tiny Houses Tips And Tricks: Minimalistic Living Experience Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about green architecture?  What you gain?  Extra: Global exposure, a valuable backlink!
A set of affordable homes for growing families just popped up in Örebro, Sweden and they utilize passive building principles and photovoltaic panels to generate as much energy as they use each year. Stockholm-based Street Monkey Architects designed the zero-energy homes to be well insulated and nearly airtight, with ventilation systems that retain as much heat as possible. A row of homes facing east-west is topped with solar panels. Each home’s pitch is angled to catch as much sun as possible Solar Zero Energy Homes The homes are almost completely powered by rooftop solar panels, and on-site batteries store unused energy that can be sold back to the grid. Additionally, the buildings’ energy consumption is measured on an ongoing basis to adjust for power needs. {youtube}                                   Essential Secrets to Sustainable Net-Zero Solar Homes: Geos Neighborhood                      Geos Neighborhood in Arvada, Colorado, sustainable, net-zero, solar, fossil fuel free homes  Each two-story, 1,600-square-foot structure is composed of six factory-built modules that arrived on-site with finished interiors. Once erected, the facades were connected together to smooth over transitional moments between the homes. Four houses face east-west, while six have a north-south orientation and all of the roofs are topped with solar panels angled toward the path of the sun. The solar panel–topped roofs vary slightly in height for added visual interest. Although the development is designed as an interlocking series of homes, subtle variations give each residence its own character. Some feature white plaster facades, while the row running north to south is finished in a dark, silvery steel. Recommended:  Smart Communities: Eco-Living Through Technology A more detailed shot shows the variation  Wood slatting attached to every other house creates a visual rhythm an element that Street Monkey Architects hopes will provide a sense of individuality for prospective homeowners. Recommended:  Tiny House With Solar Panels Is Off Grid: The Netherlands Each home has a deck with an extended backyard that’s accessed via glass doors The entrance (at the back corner) leads directly into the kitchen, dining room, and living room The kitchen is designed in a U-shape to enable socializing and to optimize space flow The living room, located adjacent to the dining area, leads to the backyard. The homes’ interiors are open and airy. The ground-floor kitchen opens to the dining room, which leads to the the living area. There, two sets of glass doors provide access to a terrace, expanding available living space. Steel stairs suspended by vertical wires allow light to filter to the ground floor. The upper level holds three bedrooms, a family room, and a large bathroom. Recommended:  Off-Grid Homes And Tiny Houses: With Solar Panels And Prefab Metal stairs attached via wires allow an abundance of light to reach the first floor At the top of the stairs is a family room with natural wood floors and white walls The family room sits adjacent to the bedrooms and a large bathroom.  A master bedroom on the second floor gets natural light through glass doors.  Before you go! Recommended:  Tiny Houses Tips And Tricks: Minimalistic Living Experience Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about green architecture?  What you gain?  Extra: Global exposure, a valuable backlink!
Solar Zero Energy Homes: Green Prefab Realty In Sweden
Solar Zero Energy Homes: Green Prefab Realty In Sweden
CO2 Footprint Reduction: 5 Innovative Solutions
For decades, scientists have been warning us about global warming, and the consequences of human actions on the planet in the form of environmental disasters. The construction sector is today one of the major contributors to global warming and the climate crisis. CO2 Footprint Reduction According to data of the United Nations (UN), currently, 36% of the global energy is dedicated to buildings and 7 to 8% of all pollutant emissions are caused by the production of concrete alone. Therefore, the architectural community is directly related to climate change, through the energy wasted on buildings and material production for the construction sector. Reflecting on this, we have compiled a set of five projects from different parts of the world that offer solutions to aid the fight against the climate crisis.  Recommended:  CO2 Absorption: Does A Dutch Professor Have The Answer? {youtube}                                                   Using concrete to trap greenhouse gasses | The Fix CO2 Footprint Reduction: Rotterdam Climate Initiative In order to address the challenges of global climate change, and aiming to be the world capital of reduction of CO2 by reducing 50% of its carbon emissions, Rotterdam developed a set of self-sustainable floating structures, with ambitious plans to adapt to rising sea levels. What is the meaning of green architecture? Green architecture, or green design, is an approach to building that minimizes the harmful effects of construction projects on human health and the environment. The "green" architect or designer attempts to safeguard air, water, and earth by choosing eco-friendly building materials and construction practices The project is a catalyst for combating climate change, operating from three connected domes anchored within the Dutch city’s old harbor. The pavilion was designed by DeltaSync and Publicdomain Architects and is an unprecedented example of innovative, sustainable and climate-proof architecture. The idea is that the structures host different uses, but above all a community of floating houses. The translucent shelter relies on solar energy and its structure is made of anti-corrosive plastic ETFE, which is 100 times lighter than glass and therefore ideal for a floating structure. Recommended:  Smart Cities Or Dumb Cities? Let’s Embrace Low Tech CO2 Footprint Reduction: Innovative Solution Humanscapes Habitat Built in India, this housing project is an applied research and demonstration project of Sustainable and Integrated Urban Living Project, used for benchmarking in housing. Appropriated due to the present global crisis of energy and climate change, it presents solutions in order to achieve a sustainable development, seeking to upgrade the capability of the currently unorganized construction sector of India, encouraging the transition of buildings with high embodied energy materials to technology and building materials that may reduce the carbon footprint.  What are the main goals of green architecture? Green architecture, philosophy of architecture that advocates sustainable energy sources, the conservation of energy, the reuse and safety of building materials, and the siting of a building with consideration of its impact on the environment. Using local building materials and skills, the residences become a net energy-positive habitat by generating their own renewable energy. Some crucial items of the project are: zero-discharge of water, reduction and recycling of solid waste, local endemic species landscaping, and growing organic food. In addition, some natural consequences of the campus set-up are the reduction of journeys by integrating work and living spaces, coordinating community and infrastructure, as well as the adoption of clean mobility options like e-vehicles for external contact. Recommended:  New Foodscape Alternatives Gets Attention In The Netherlands CO2 Footprint Reduction: Innovative Solution From NLÉ Architects The Makoko, floating school Taking into account the impact of climate change and sea-level rise in the last few years, and the coastal erosion and tropical rains that have overloaded the current system, NLÉ Architects developed this project for Makoko school. It was designed as a floating prototype to encourage architecture and urbanism of the coastal cities of Africa, creating houses, community centers and playgrounds with the same system. How can we reduce CO2 in construction? 8 steps to reduce embodied carbon in construction lifecycle Reuse buildings instead of constructing new ones Specify low-carbon concrete mixes Limit carbon-intensive materials Choose lower carbon alternatives Choose carbon sequestering materials Reuse materials Use high-recycled content materials Maximize structural efficiency Recommended:  A Floating Airport Cutting Edge Madness Or Visionary? Designed for 100 students and their teachers, the school offers 100m² of area and 10 meters of ceiling height. The project uses around 256 recycled plastic barrels to float on the water and reused wood structure. The electricity relies on solar panels, while the rainwater collection facilitates the use of odorless composting, installed as a solution for the nonexistent sewer system, making it self-sustainable. Recommended:  Floating Cities: A Sustainable Concept For Future Communities CO2 Reduction: Innovative Solution Archifest Zero Waste Pavilion Using zero waste as a constructive strategy, this project was developed around two highly rapidly deployable and reusable systems. The zero-waste strategy considered time, materials, costs and the afterlife of the elements. How do you become carbon neutral? Carbon-neutral status can be achieved in two ways: Balancing carbon dioxide emissions with carbon removal beyond natural processes, often through carbon offsetting, or the process of removing or sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make up for emissions elsewhere The box-truss system, including the roof, takes a maximum of approximately 7 days to deploy The membrane takes a maximum of approximately 3 days to install Overall, the time frame to complete WonderWall would be of about 10-15 days The cellular membrane once taken down can be reused for other functions.Thanks to WOW Architects Recommended:  How An Artificial Leaf Sucks CO2 And Makes Fuel. Amazing! Innovative Solution 5: Oceanix City, Bjarke Ingels Group As part of UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda, this project developed by Bjarke Ingels Group seeks to respond to the imminent threat of climate change, proposing the creation of the world’s first resilient and sustainable floating community, designed to accommodate 10.000 people. “Oceanix City” is a response to the prediction that by 2050, 90% of the world’s largest cities will be exposed to rising seas, resulting in mass displacement, and the destruction of homes and infrastructure. The scheme is anchored in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, enacting circular flows of food, energy, water, and waste, becoming self-sustainable. According to Ingels, "The only constant in the universe is change. Our world is always changing, and right now, our climate is changing. No matter how critical the crisis is, and it is, this is also our collective human superpower. That we have the power to adapt to change and we have the power to give form to our future". Before you go! Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about green architecture? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
For decades, scientists have been warning us about global warming, and the consequences of human actions on the planet in the form of environmental disasters. The construction sector is today one of the major contributors to global warming and the climate crisis. CO2 Footprint Reduction According to data of the United Nations (UN), currently, 36% of the global energy is dedicated to buildings and 7 to 8% of all pollutant emissions are caused by the production of concrete alone. Therefore, the architectural community is directly related to climate change, through the energy wasted on buildings and material production for the construction sector. Reflecting on this, we have compiled a set of five projects from different parts of the world that offer solutions to aid the fight against the climate crisis.  Recommended:  CO2 Absorption: Does A Dutch Professor Have The Answer? {youtube}                                                   Using concrete to trap greenhouse gasses | The Fix CO2 Footprint Reduction: Rotterdam Climate Initiative In order to address the challenges of global climate change, and aiming to be the world capital of reduction of CO2 by reducing 50% of its carbon emissions, Rotterdam developed a set of self-sustainable floating structures, with ambitious plans to adapt to rising sea levels. What is the meaning of green architecture? Green architecture, or green design, is an approach to building that minimizes the harmful effects of construction projects on human health and the environment. The "green" architect or designer attempts to safeguard air, water, and earth by choosing eco-friendly building materials and construction practices The project is a catalyst for combating climate change, operating from three connected domes anchored within the Dutch city’s old harbor. The pavilion was designed by DeltaSync and Publicdomain Architects and is an unprecedented example of innovative, sustainable and climate-proof architecture. The idea is that the structures host different uses, but above all a community of floating houses. The translucent shelter relies on solar energy and its structure is made of anti-corrosive plastic ETFE, which is 100 times lighter than glass and therefore ideal for a floating structure. Recommended:  Smart Cities Or Dumb Cities? Let’s Embrace Low Tech CO2 Footprint Reduction: Innovative Solution Humanscapes Habitat Built in India, this housing project is an applied research and demonstration project of Sustainable and Integrated Urban Living Project, used for benchmarking in housing. Appropriated due to the present global crisis of energy and climate change, it presents solutions in order to achieve a sustainable development, seeking to upgrade the capability of the currently unorganized construction sector of India, encouraging the transition of buildings with high embodied energy materials to technology and building materials that may reduce the carbon footprint.  What are the main goals of green architecture? Green architecture, philosophy of architecture that advocates sustainable energy sources, the conservation of energy, the reuse and safety of building materials, and the siting of a building with consideration of its impact on the environment. Using local building materials and skills, the residences become a net energy-positive habitat by generating their own renewable energy. Some crucial items of the project are: zero-discharge of water, reduction and recycling of solid waste, local endemic species landscaping, and growing organic food. In addition, some natural consequences of the campus set-up are the reduction of journeys by integrating work and living spaces, coordinating community and infrastructure, as well as the adoption of clean mobility options like e-vehicles for external contact. Recommended:  New Foodscape Alternatives Gets Attention In The Netherlands CO2 Footprint Reduction: Innovative Solution From NLÉ Architects The Makoko, floating school Taking into account the impact of climate change and sea-level rise in the last few years, and the coastal erosion and tropical rains that have overloaded the current system, NLÉ Architects developed this project for Makoko school. It was designed as a floating prototype to encourage architecture and urbanism of the coastal cities of Africa, creating houses, community centers and playgrounds with the same system. How can we reduce CO2 in construction? 8 steps to reduce embodied carbon in construction lifecycle Reuse buildings instead of constructing new ones Specify low-carbon concrete mixes Limit carbon-intensive materials Choose lower carbon alternatives Choose carbon sequestering materials Reuse materials Use high-recycled content materials Maximize structural efficiency Recommended:  A Floating Airport Cutting Edge Madness Or Visionary? Designed for 100 students and their teachers, the school offers 100m² of area and 10 meters of ceiling height. The project uses around 256 recycled plastic barrels to float on the water and reused wood structure. The electricity relies on solar panels, while the rainwater collection facilitates the use of odorless composting, installed as a solution for the nonexistent sewer system, making it self-sustainable. Recommended:  Floating Cities: A Sustainable Concept For Future Communities CO2 Reduction: Innovative Solution Archifest Zero Waste Pavilion Using zero waste as a constructive strategy, this project was developed around two highly rapidly deployable and reusable systems. The zero-waste strategy considered time, materials, costs and the afterlife of the elements. How do you become carbon neutral? Carbon-neutral status can be achieved in two ways: Balancing carbon dioxide emissions with carbon removal beyond natural processes, often through carbon offsetting, or the process of removing or sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make up for emissions elsewhere The box-truss system, including the roof, takes a maximum of approximately 7 days to deploy The membrane takes a maximum of approximately 3 days to install Overall, the time frame to complete WonderWall would be of about 10-15 days The cellular membrane once taken down can be reused for other functions.Thanks to WOW Architects Recommended:  How An Artificial Leaf Sucks CO2 And Makes Fuel. Amazing! Innovative Solution 5: Oceanix City, Bjarke Ingels Group As part of UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda, this project developed by Bjarke Ingels Group seeks to respond to the imminent threat of climate change, proposing the creation of the world’s first resilient and sustainable floating community, designed to accommodate 10.000 people. “Oceanix City” is a response to the prediction that by 2050, 90% of the world’s largest cities will be exposed to rising seas, resulting in mass displacement, and the destruction of homes and infrastructure. The scheme is anchored in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, enacting circular flows of food, energy, water, and waste, becoming self-sustainable. According to Ingels, "The only constant in the universe is change. Our world is always changing, and right now, our climate is changing. No matter how critical the crisis is, and it is, this is also our collective human superpower. That we have the power to adapt to change and we have the power to give form to our future". Before you go! Recommended:  Regenerative Agriculture: Its Full Potential (Part 3 of 3) Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about green architecture? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
CO2 Footprint Reduction: 5 Innovative Solutions
Zandvoort: A Dutch Town Caught Between Sustainability And Tourism
Zandvoort. A place in the Netherlands that you might be familiar with for a number of reasons. One, its racetrack that has just been re-added to the Formula 1 agenda, the Mecca of motorsports. Two, the beaches that gave it its official monicker of Amsterdam Beach. And three, the excessive controversy that it generates over a wide range of topics, including deer, windmills and sand lizards. Deer Controversy Yours truly had the pleasure of experiencing some of this commotion that frequently rocks this community of 17.000 people. Just last year, I was commissioned by the municipality to write an article on the ‘deer plague’. Deer have been roaming the streets of the town for quite some time, an easy day trip for them from the neighbouring Waterleidingduinen dunes. They especially enjoy the wealth of tasty flowers in residents’ front yards and the plates left out for them by some elderly citizens. Tourists enjoy the view and will gladly proffer all sorts of unsuitable foods for the animals to eat, just to get their selfie in. Recommended:  UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide Long story short, the story never ran. The ‘pro’ side thought my article, discussing the dangers of feeding the deer, was an exaggeration and suggested that the deer are best kept out of the town center altogether. (To be fair, they probably are - deer-car collisions are a common event.) The ‘con’ side criticised the lack of punitive measures against those who dare to feed the deer, something that should have - obviously - been highlighted in the article. What is the history of Zandvoort? Zandvoort is known to exist in 1100, called Sandevoerde, meaning ford; compare English Sandford). Until 1722 the area was under the control of the Lords of Brederode. The village was dependent on fishing for many centuries until the 19th century when it started to transform itself into a seaside resort. Formula 1 Rocking The Community Neither party was willing to put their name behind it, and thus, the article - aptly titled ‘Loitering Obese Deer: Stop The Feeding’ - died a silent death. It is characteristic of the way in which the town never quite seems to agree on anything. Winning the Formula 1 bid was a dream come true for many, especially those who treasure fond memories of the times that the likes of Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda graced the asphalt.   What has Zandvoort to offer? Zandvoort is a municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. It is one of the major beach resorts of the Netherlands; it has a long sandy beach, bordered by coastal dunes. It is also the site of the country's most important auto racing circuit, Circuit Zandvoort. At the same time, environmental movements jumped in to proclaim their disapproval. The government surely did not consider the emissions? The impact that the sound would have on the animals living in nearby National Parks? How the planned expansions of the racetrack would destroy the habitat of the sand lizard? As we speak, they are probably still somewhere tied up in court, feebly objecting against a done deal that is sure to draw many thousands to the coastal town just west of Amsterdam. Recommended:  China Will Lead Electric Car Revolution: FIA E-Grand Prix Wind Farm: Sustainability Or Horizon Pollution Just a few years before, a similar bout of controversy hit the streets when energy provider Eneco revealed plans to build a wind farm in the sea, just some 23 kilometers from the shore. These monsters would surely ruin the views and generate all sorts of problems. The fact that these windmills would provide a generous amount of renewable energy was easily overlooked: when having to choose between having a good view or getting more clean energy sources, some would certainly prefer the former. {youtube}                                                           Animatie van transport- en installatieschip Aeolus Once again, it is typical for a beach town that has found itself torn between sustainability and tourism. On the one hand, attracting visitors has always taken the lead - with the dunes and the sea, along with many motorsports events, it has drawn quite a few holidaymakers. These very same tourists are, however, polluting and damaging the environment.    National Park Wants Sustainable Tourism National Park ‘Zuid Kennemerland’ that is bordering Zandvoort is clearly feeling the stress, with visitors often leaving the designated paths to explore or chase after the local fauna. The litter they leave behind, along with the vegetation they accidentally destroy, has left its traces on the precious landscape. This is why the park directors have recently presented their plan for ‘sustainable tourism’ in the area. Recommended:  Climate Change: Ticks And Oak Processionary Caterpillars They presented their vision in a 30-page document, that highlights how growing tourism and recreation in the area can go hand in hand with protection, preservation and perception of the vulnerable natural heritage. This is done through extensive zoning, with dedicated areas for walking, bird spotting, biking, boating, or other recreational activities.   What is special about one of its beaches? There is a nudist beach located about 2 km to the south, with 6 cafés or restaurants; it extends several kilometres further south. The paths will be indicated more clearly, sufficient trashcans will be provided, and the area will be patrolled regularly by forest rangers. Through extensive marketing campaigns, both visitors and local residents will be made aware of the rules and, if possible, involved in the process of protecting nature. Tapping in to the community at large to help preserve the precious area is a risky, albeit potentially rewarding way of creating a more sustainable park. The critical reader, however, will quickly notice that real, binding commitments are sorely missing. Hosting A Sustainable Grand Prix In a similar move, the racetrack has vaguely promised to not only be a polluter and disruptor to the environment. The government has claimed that the current expansion will actually benefit nature. It will make it harder, if not impossible, for racefans to access the dune area surrounding the track. In the past, visitors have spread out over the terrain in an attempt to find front-row seats in the dunes, something that will now no longer be possible. Makes it almost easy to forget that the affected dune area will take at least 10 to 15 years to recover from the damage done. How developed Zandvoort after WW2 After the war, the town's growth accelerated, matching the growth in tourism. In 1948, Circuit Zandvoort was built, hosting the Dutch Grand Prix for several decades, until 1985. The Dutch GP will return in 2020, in the 2020 Formula One World Championship The lawsuit that the city faced, initiated by organisations worrying about the fate of - most notably - the sand lizard, revealed that all possible efforts were taken to remove all animals and transport them to a safer place. Other lawsuits that were protesting against the noise and pollution caused by traffic highlighted that the city is trying to get visitors to come by train or bike, for which they have pledged to improve train operations and increase the number of beds available in the surrounding area. Trapped Between Sustainability And Tourism All in all, Zandvoort has set its sights on hosting the ‘greenest Formula 1 race’, casually mentioning initiatives like local sourcing and planting trees to compensate for emissions. Yet it seems fairly non-committal as well. It almost appears as if the plans were written by the same committee that was responsible for the National Park’s vision. Or the promotion sheet of the windmill parks just offshore. I present you Zandvoort, a town inherently trapped between sustainability and tourism. Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the environment in your area? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Zandvoort. A place in the Netherlands that you might be familiar with for a number of reasons. One, its racetrack that has just been re-added to the Formula 1 agenda, the Mecca of motorsports. Two, the beaches that gave it its official monicker of Amsterdam Beach. And three, the excessive controversy that it generates over a wide range of topics, including deer, windmills and sand lizards. Deer Controversy Yours truly had the pleasure of experiencing some of this commotion that frequently rocks this community of 17.000 people. Just last year, I was commissioned by the municipality to write an article on the ‘deer plague’. Deer have been roaming the streets of the town for quite some time, an easy day trip for them from the neighbouring Waterleidingduinen dunes. They especially enjoy the wealth of tasty flowers in residents’ front yards and the plates left out for them by some elderly citizens. Tourists enjoy the view and will gladly proffer all sorts of unsuitable foods for the animals to eat, just to get their selfie in. Recommended:  UN Shows Human Devastating Impact On Nature: Worldwide Long story short, the story never ran. The ‘pro’ side thought my article, discussing the dangers of feeding the deer, was an exaggeration and suggested that the deer are best kept out of the town center altogether. (To be fair, they probably are - deer-car collisions are a common event.) The ‘con’ side criticised the lack of punitive measures against those who dare to feed the deer, something that should have - obviously - been highlighted in the article. What is the history of Zandvoort? Zandvoort is known to exist in 1100, called Sandevoerde, meaning ford; compare English Sandford). Until 1722 the area was under the control of the Lords of Brederode. The village was dependent on fishing for many centuries until the 19th century when it started to transform itself into a seaside resort. Formula 1 Rocking The Community Neither party was willing to put their name behind it, and thus, the article - aptly titled ‘Loitering Obese Deer: Stop The Feeding’ - died a silent death. It is characteristic of the way in which the town never quite seems to agree on anything. Winning the Formula 1 bid was a dream come true for many, especially those who treasure fond memories of the times that the likes of Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda graced the asphalt.   What has Zandvoort to offer? Zandvoort is a municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. It is one of the major beach resorts of the Netherlands; it has a long sandy beach, bordered by coastal dunes. It is also the site of the country's most important auto racing circuit, Circuit Zandvoort. At the same time, environmental movements jumped in to proclaim their disapproval. The government surely did not consider the emissions? The impact that the sound would have on the animals living in nearby National Parks? How the planned expansions of the racetrack would destroy the habitat of the sand lizard? As we speak, they are probably still somewhere tied up in court, feebly objecting against a done deal that is sure to draw many thousands to the coastal town just west of Amsterdam. Recommended:  China Will Lead Electric Car Revolution: FIA E-Grand Prix Wind Farm: Sustainability Or Horizon Pollution Just a few years before, a similar bout of controversy hit the streets when energy provider Eneco revealed plans to build a wind farm in the sea, just some 23 kilometers from the shore. These monsters would surely ruin the views and generate all sorts of problems. The fact that these windmills would provide a generous amount of renewable energy was easily overlooked: when having to choose between having a good view or getting more clean energy sources, some would certainly prefer the former. {youtube}                                                           Animatie van transport- en installatieschip Aeolus Once again, it is typical for a beach town that has found itself torn between sustainability and tourism. On the one hand, attracting visitors has always taken the lead - with the dunes and the sea, along with many motorsports events, it has drawn quite a few holidaymakers. These very same tourists are, however, polluting and damaging the environment.    National Park Wants Sustainable Tourism National Park ‘Zuid Kennemerland’ that is bordering Zandvoort is clearly feeling the stress, with visitors often leaving the designated paths to explore or chase after the local fauna. The litter they leave behind, along with the vegetation they accidentally destroy, has left its traces on the precious landscape. This is why the park directors have recently presented their plan for ‘sustainable tourism’ in the area. Recommended:  Climate Change: Ticks And Oak Processionary Caterpillars They presented their vision in a 30-page document, that highlights how growing tourism and recreation in the area can go hand in hand with protection, preservation and perception of the vulnerable natural heritage. This is done through extensive zoning, with dedicated areas for walking, bird spotting, biking, boating, or other recreational activities.   What is special about one of its beaches? There is a nudist beach located about 2 km to the south, with 6 cafés or restaurants; it extends several kilometres further south. The paths will be indicated more clearly, sufficient trashcans will be provided, and the area will be patrolled regularly by forest rangers. Through extensive marketing campaigns, both visitors and local residents will be made aware of the rules and, if possible, involved in the process of protecting nature. Tapping in to the community at large to help preserve the precious area is a risky, albeit potentially rewarding way of creating a more sustainable park. The critical reader, however, will quickly notice that real, binding commitments are sorely missing. Hosting A Sustainable Grand Prix In a similar move, the racetrack has vaguely promised to not only be a polluter and disruptor to the environment. The government has claimed that the current expansion will actually benefit nature. It will make it harder, if not impossible, for racefans to access the dune area surrounding the track. In the past, visitors have spread out over the terrain in an attempt to find front-row seats in the dunes, something that will now no longer be possible. Makes it almost easy to forget that the affected dune area will take at least 10 to 15 years to recover from the damage done. How developed Zandvoort after WW2 After the war, the town's growth accelerated, matching the growth in tourism. In 1948, Circuit Zandvoort was built, hosting the Dutch Grand Prix for several decades, until 1985. The Dutch GP will return in 2020, in the 2020 Formula One World Championship The lawsuit that the city faced, initiated by organisations worrying about the fate of - most notably - the sand lizard, revealed that all possible efforts were taken to remove all animals and transport them to a safer place. Other lawsuits that were protesting against the noise and pollution caused by traffic highlighted that the city is trying to get visitors to come by train or bike, for which they have pledged to improve train operations and increase the number of beds available in the surrounding area. Trapped Between Sustainability And Tourism All in all, Zandvoort has set its sights on hosting the ‘greenest Formula 1 race’, casually mentioning initiatives like local sourcing and planting trees to compensate for emissions. Yet it seems fairly non-committal as well. It almost appears as if the plans were written by the same committee that was responsible for the National Park’s vision. Or the promotion sheet of the windmill parks just offshore. I present you Zandvoort, a town inherently trapped between sustainability and tourism. Before you go! Recommended:  Earth Matters. Nature And Us: What Was, What’s Left: Hope? Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the environment in your area? Click on  'Register'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Zandvoort: A Dutch Town Caught Between Sustainability And Tourism
Zandvoort: A Dutch Town Caught Between Sustainability And Tourism
Coronavirus, COVID-19: From Pangolin, Snake Or Bat. Fact?
The coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, has killed 2.804+ people, 82.186+ people are proven infected worldwide with the coronavirus (Thursday, 27-02-2020). The Coronavirus is a zoonotic disease, meaning it jumps from animals to humans.  The Coronivirus: What Was The Intermediate Host The SARS coronavirus, which killed 774 people in the early 2000s, jumped from bats to civets to people. The Wuhan coronavirus is also thought to have originated in bats, which may have passed the disease to snakes or Pangolins, which then passed it to humans. Snakes Could Be the Original Source of the New Coronavirus Outbreak in China. A study of the virus’s genetic sequence suggests similarities to that seen in snakes, but is it? Recommended:  Coronavirus COVID-19: Worse Then Thought: A Must Read Update SARS and MERS: The Bat, The Masked Palm Civet And Camels Both SARS and MERS are classified as zoonotic viral diseases, meaning the first patients who were infected acquired these viruses directly from animals. This was possible because while in the animal host, the virus had acquired a series of genetic mutations that allowed it to infect and multiply inside humans. How do docters test for SARS? Lab tests to detect SARS virus include a blood test, a nasal swab or a sample from your stool or urine, or growing the virus in culture. Now these viruses can be transmitted from person to person. Field studies have revealed that the original source of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV is the bat, and that the masked palm civets (a mammal native to Asia and Africa) and camels, respectively, served as intermediate hosts between bats and humans. How do you test for MERS? Molecular Tests Real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) assays are molecular tests that can be used to detect viral RNA in clinical samples.  Most state laboratories in the United States are approved to test for MERS-CoV by using an rRT-PCR assay developed by CDC. From Bats To Snakes: The Wuhan Market In the case of this 2019 coronavirus outbreak, reports state that most of the first group of patients hospitalized were workers or customers at a local seafood wholesale market which also sold processed meats and live consumable animals including: poultry, donkeys, sheep, pigs, camels, foxes, badgers, bamboo rats, hedgehogs and reptiles. However, since no one has ever reported finding a coronavirus infecting aquatic animals, it is plausible that the coronavirus may have originated from other animals sold in that market. The hypothesis that the 2019-nCoV jumped from an animal at the market is strongly supported by a new publication in the Journal of Medical Virology. The scientists conducted an analysis and compared the genetic sequences of 2019-nCoV and all other known coronaviruses. From Bats To Pangolins Some Chinese researchers investigating the pangolin as possible origin of the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China. Friday they said that the endangered pangolin may be the ‘missing link’ between bats and humans, but other scientists said the search may not be over. An earlier study pointed to snakes, and there remain numerous candidate species in the Wuhan wildlife market thought to be ground zero of the epidemic. But according to Arnaud Fontanet, from France's Pasteur Institute, the disease likely didn't jump straight from bats to humans. "We think there's another animal that's an intermediary." Fontanet believes the intermediary was ‘probably a mammal’, possible belonging to the badger family. {youtube}                                                              Pangolins - The world's most trafficked animal After testing more than 1,000 samples from wild animals, scientists at the South China Agricultural University found the genome sequences of viruses in pangolins to be 99 percent identical to those on coronavirus patients, the official Xinhua news agency reported. "This is not scientific evidence," said James Wood, head of the department of veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge. "Investigations into animal reservoirs are extremely important, but results must be then be published for international scrutiny." "Simply reporting detection of viral RNA with sequence similarity of 99+ percent is not sufficient," he added. Eric Leroy, a virologist and vet at the IRD said the search could well turn up a result quickly like in the case of SARS. Equally, it could take years. Chinese Ferret Badger The study of the genetic code of 2019-nCoV reveals that the new virus is most closely related to two bat SARS-like coronavirus samples from China, initially suggesting that, like SARS and MERS, the bat might also be the origin of 2019-nCoV. The authors further found that the DNA coding sequence of 2019-nCoV spike protein, which forms the ‘crown’ of the virus particle that recognizes the receptor on a host cell, indicates that the bat virus might have mutated before infecting people. But when the researchers performed a more detailed bioinformatics analysis of the sequence of 2019-nCoV, it suggests that this coronavirus might come from snakes. Recommended:  Coronavirus, Flu And Climate Change: Is There A Connection? Coronavirus: Protein Codes From Snakes The researchers used an analysis of the protein codes favoured by the new coronavirus and compared it to the protein codes from coronaviruses found in different animal hosts, like birds, snakes, marmots, hedgehogs, manis, bats and humans. Surprisingly, they found that the protein codes in the 2019-nCoV are most similar to those used in snakes. What does a gene code for a protein? The journey from gene to protein is complex and tightly controlled within each cell. The type of RNA that contains the information for making a protein is called messenger RNA (mRNA) because it carries the information, or message, from the DNA out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm.                                                   Snakes Hunt Bats In A Cave | Planet Earth | BBC Earth Snakes often hunt for bats in wild . Reports indicate that snakes were sold in the local seafood market in Wuhan, raising the possibility that the 2019-nCoV might have jumped from the host species—bats—to snakes and then to humans at the beginning of this coronavirus outbreak. However, how the virus could adapt to both the cold-blooded and warm-blooded hosts remains a mystery. Researchers must verify the origin of the virus through laboratory experiments. Searching for the 2019-nCoV sequence in snakes would be the first thing to do. However, since the outbreak, the seafood market has been disinfected and shut down, which makes it challenging to trace the new virus’ source animal. Sampling DNA from animals sold at the market and from wild snakes and bats is needed to confirm the origin of the virus. Nonetheless, the reported findings will also provide insights for developing prevention and treatment protocols. Recommended:  Coronavirus: Bill Gates, 65 Million Death In A Simulation Coronavirus And Sars: Passed From Animals To Humans In a Wet Market The coronavirus spreading in China and the SARS outbreak of 2003 have two things in common: Both are from the coronavirus family and both were passed from animals to humans in a wet market. Poorly regulated live-animal markets mixed with illegal wildlife trade offer a unique opportunity for viruses to spill over from wildlife hosts into the human population. In the case of SARS, and probably this coronavirus outbreak too, bats were the original hosts. They then infected other animals via their poop or saliva, and the unwitting intermediaries transmitted the virus to humans. What does zoonotic mean? Zoonosis is another name for a zoonotic disease. This type of disease passes from an animal or insect to a human. Some don't make the animal sick but will sicken a human. Zoonotic diseases range from minor short-term illness to a major life-changing illness. Certain ones can even cause death. Chinese 'wet market'.  Coronavirus, COVID-19: Bats & Birds Reservoir Species For Viruses Bats and birds are considered reservoir species for viruses with pandemic potential according Bart Haagmans, a virologist at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In the past 45 years, at least three other pandemics (besides SARS) have been traced back to bats. The creatures were the original source of Ebola, which has killed 13,500 people in multiple outbreaks since 1976: Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, better known as MERS, which can be found in 28 countries The Nipah virus, which has a 78% fatality rate The coronavirus might have jumped from bats to snakes to people Not all coronaviruses are deadly, the ones endemic to humans, like the common cold, are often considered inconsequential. The coronaviruses that pose a pandemic risk, however, are those that hang out in animals. Because these viruses have not been circulating in humans before, specific immunity to these viruses is absent in humans. Coronavirus: Wuhan Experts haven’t yet confirmed the animal species that enabled it to spread to people, but they have some guesses. Scientists in China compared the genetic code of the Wuhan coronavirus to other coronaviruses and found it to be most similar to two bat coronavirus samples. Coronaviris via The Chinese Cobra? There’s an indication that it’s a bat virus said Vincent Munster, a scientist at Rocky Mountain Laboratories. According to a group of scientists who edit the Journal of Medical Virology, the intermediary species in this case could be the Chinese cobra. How do Coronaviruses spread? Coronaviruses primarily spread through close contact with another individual, in particular through coughing and sneezing on somebody else who is within a range of about 3 to 6 feet from that person. If an infected person sneezes or coughs onto a surface a countertop, for example  and another person touches that surface and then rubs his or her eyes or nose, for example, the latter may get sick. That’s because further genetic analysis showed that the genetic building blocks of the Wuhan coronavirus closely resembled that of snakes. So the researchers think a population of bats could have infected snakes, which passed the virus to humans as they were being sold at the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan. But the only way to be sure about where the virus came from is to take DNA samples from animals sold at that market and from wild snakes and bats in the area. Coronavirus: Why Bats Pose Such A Threat Bats harbour a significantly higher proportion of zoonotic viruses than other mammals, according to a 2017 study. Experts think that’s because bats can fly across large geographical ranges, transporting diseases as they go. That makes them an ideal host.  Bats pass along viruses in their poop: If they drop feces onto a piece of fruit that a different animal then eats, the creature can become a carrier. We know a fair amount of viruses on the World Health Organization’s Blueprint list of priority diseases have either a direct or indirect link with bats,” Munster said. (The list includes the SARS and MERS viruses.) Last March, a study even predicted that bats could be the source of a new coronavirus outbreak in China. It is highly likely that future SARS- or MERS-like coronavirus outbreaks will originate from bats, and there is an increased probability that this will occur in China. That’s because: The majority of coronaviruses – those that circulate both in humans and in animals – can be found in China Plus, the study authors said, most of the bat hosts of these coronaviruses live near humans in China, potentially transmitting viruses to humans and livestock The bat population from which the SARS virus originated, for example, lived in a cave just over 1 kilometre, or about half a mile, from the nearest village Similarly, a 2017 study warned that the risk of spill over into people and emergence of a disease similar to SARS is possible. The authors identified at least 300 separate strains of coronaviruses still circulating in bats. How SARS, MERS And Ebola Jumped From Bats To People Here are five viruses that most likely came from bats, and how the outbreaks compare. Researchers traced SARS to a population of horseshoe bats in China’s Yunnan province. Humans caught it from weasel-like mammals called masked palm civets at a wet market in Guangdong From 2002 to 2003, SARS killed 774 people across 29 countries and infected more than 8,000. Patients experienced fevers, headaches, and a type of deadly pneumonia that could cause respiratory failure MERS, similarly, passed from bats to dromedary camels in the Middle East. That coronavirus circulated in the camel population undetected for decades before jumping to humans in 2012. So far, 858 people have died in 28 countries from the illness, which comes with fever, cough, and shortness of breath In Southeast Asia, fruit bats were the original hosts of the deadly Nipah virus, which emerged in Malaysia in 1998 and then again in India in 2001. The bats passed it to farmed pigs, which gave it to people. Patients experienced headaches and vomiting; many slipped into a coma and died Fruit bats in Africa have played a major role in Ebola outbreaks since 1976. The worst Ebola outbreak in history, however, came from a population of long-fingered bats. More than 11,000 people were killed from 2013 to 2016. Fruit Bat Coronavirus: How To Prevent Zoonotic Diseases Like The Coronavirus From Spilling Over To People? At wet markets, the close proximity of shoppers to stall vendors and live and dead animals creates a prime breeding ground for zoonotic diseases. For cultural reasons in the region, people want to see the specific animals they’re buying be slaughtered in front of them, so they know they’re receiving the products they paid for,” according to Emily Langdon, an infectious disease specialist at University of Chicago Medicine. That means there’s a lot of skinning of dead animals in front of shoppers and, as a result, aerosolizing of all sorts of things. The most likely virus that might cause a new pandemic would be a coronavirus. We’re in an age of epidemics because: of globalization of encroachment on wild environments Coronavirus, COVID-19: Human Health And Climate Change Climate change produced many harmful effects on human health in Central China. The cardiovascu-lar mortalities increased year by year in Wuhan from 1998 to 2008. And the morbidity was highest in winter and lowest in summer. The increasing frequency and intensity of summer heat waves resulted in the increased risk of summer cardiovascular, respiratory system diseases and heat stroke. The regional precipitation became uneven in Central China, which caused more floods and increased risk of infectious diseases like malaria, Japanese encephalitis, and conjunctivitis. The incidence of intestinal infectious diseases increased from 66.04% to 80.97% in Hubei during 1991–1997. Climate Change Helped Snails Survive The Winter Season  Behavioural risks that leads to the emergence of bat coronaviruses in humans Bat borne coronaviruses have caused several emerging infectious disease outbreaks of global significance, including SARS. Novel SARS-related coronaviruses have been discovered in bat populations in Southern China, some of which have the capacity to infect human cells Human-animal interactions are thought to be critical for the emergence of bat coronaviruses, however the specific interactions linked to animal-to-human spill over remain unknown. Coronaviris: New Findings This study found serological evidence for bat-borne coronavirus transmission to people. Direct contact with bats was not identified as a risk factor. However, self-reported severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) and/or influenza-like illness (ILI) was linked to human interaction with other wildlife and livestock, suggesting that there may be other zoonotic exposures leading to clinical illness in these populations. Vendors wait for customers as dogs are kept in a cage at Dashichang dog market ahead of a local dog meat festival in Yulin, Guangxi Autonomous Region Human interaction with animals has been implicated as a primary risk factor for several high impact zoonoses, including many bat-origin viral diseases. However the animal-to-human spill over events that lead to emerging diseases are rarely observed or clinically examined, and the link between specific interactions and spill over risk is poorly understood. To investigate this phenomenon, researchers conducted biological-behavioural surveillance among rural residents in Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong districts of Southern China, where we have identified a number of SARS-related coronaviruses in bats. Serum samples were tested for four bat-borne coronaviruses using newly developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Survey data were used to characterize associations between human-animal contact and bat coronavirus spill over risk. Coronavirus From Animals To Humans A total of 1,596 residents were enrolled in the study from 2015 to 2017 Nine participants (0.6%) tested positive for bat coronaviruses . 265 (17%) participants reported severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and/or influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms in the past year, which were associated with poultry, carnivore, rodent/shrew, or bat contact, with variability by family income and district of residence. This study provides serological evidence of bat coronavirus spill over in rural communities in Southern China. The low seroprevalence observed in this study suggests that bat coronavirus spill over is a rare event. Nonetheless, this study highlights associations between human-animal interaction and zoonotic spill over risk. These findings can be used to support targeted biological behavioural surveillance in high-risk geographic areas in order to reduce the risk of zoonotic disease emergence. Coronavirus, COVID-19: Interaction Between Humans And Animals A health Risk? In the highly biodiverse southern region of China, interactions among humans, wildlife, and livestock are likely to be common, and are hypothesized to be a risk factor in the emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases. Human-animal interactions may pose a particular public health threat in rural communities where frequent contact with animals occurs and where disease prevention measures are likely less well-developed. What is a hypothesis? In science, a hypothesis is an idea or explanation that you then test through study and experimentation. Outside science, a theory or guess can also be called a hypothesis. A hypothesis is something more than a wild guess but less than a well-established theory. Although human-animal interactions are thought to be associated with zoonotic disease emergence, few studies have addressed the nature of specific interactions that occur between animals (particularly wild animals) and humans that lead to pathogen spill over. Bats (order Chiroptera) are reservoirs of a large number of zoonotic viruses, including coronaviruses (CoVs) that have caused disease outbreaks in human and livestock populations Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), the causative agent of the SARS outbreak affecting 32 countries in 2002-3, infecting 8,096 people and causing 774 deaths Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which has caused 823 deaths from 2,374 human cases in 27 countries by the end of February 2019, and is thought to have originally spilled over from bats into camels , in which is it now endemic Severe acute diarrhoea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV) which emerged in the pig population of Southern China and caused the deaths of more than 20,000 piglets in 2017 and 2018 A large diversity of coronaviruses, including SARS-related Coronaviruses (SARSr-CoVs), has been discovered in bats, and phylogenetic and pathogenesis studies of these suggest a high capacity for transmission across species barriers. However, few studies have analysed bat-to-human spill over events in non-outbreak conditions, likely due to the rarity of these events and difficulties in identifying at-risk populations or target geographies. Additionally, the symptoms of novel bat coronavirus infection in the human population may not be clinically recognized at the time of emergence as a result of a lack of adequate surveillance or confusion with other diseases. This represents a significant biosafety risk considering the large and increasing number of coronaviruses discovered in bats and the wide distribution of bat populations in rural regions such as Southern China. We report on a study designed to characterize the bat coronavirus spill over potential associated with presumed high-risk human behaviour in rural communities of Southern China. Human Populations Close To bats And Wildlife A cross-sectional study was done in the districts of Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong, China, which are known for their high levels of wildlife biodiversity, active wildlife trade activity, and historic zoonotic disease emergence events. Eight study sites were selected in areas where we have previously reported diverse coronaviruses in bat populations roosting close (within 5 km) to human dwellings. The study targeted human populations that are highly exposed to bats and other wildlife, including people who visit or work around bat caves, work in local live animal markets, raise animals, or are involved in wildlife trade (e.g., wild animal harvest, trade, transportation, and preparation), as identified by previous exploratory ethnographic interviews. Recruitment and sampling We aimed to obtain a minimum sample size of 400 participants from each of the three districts (Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong), for a total sample size of over 1,200 participants. A snowball sampling method was used because the population size at selected sites and the people who were highly exposed to wild animals were difficult to elucidate. Results From October 2015 to July 2017, a total of 1,596 residents from eight sites in Yunnan (n=761), Guangxi (n=412), and Guangdong (n=423) provinces were enrolled in this study. Of these, 1,585 participants completed the questionnaires and 11 participants withdrew from the questionnaire interview due to scheduling reasons. After the interviews, 1,497 participants provided biological samples for lab analysis. Demographics More female (62%) than male (38%) community members participated in this study. Most participants were adults over 45 years old (69%) and had been living in the community for more than 5 years (97%) with their family members (95%). A majority (86%) relied on a comparatively low family annual per capita income less than 10,000 RMB which is below the national mean for per capita disposable income of rural households from 2015 to 2017 (11,422 - 13,432 RMB). Most participants (98%) had not received a college education and were making a living in crop production (76%). 9% of participants frequently traveled outside the county as migrant laborers. Some participants were working in sectors where frequent human-animal contact occurs, such as the animal production business (1.7%), wild animal trade (0.5%), slaughterhouses or abattoirs (0.5%), protected nature reserve rangers (0.4%) or in wildlife restaurants (0.3%). It was common for participants to have multiple part-time jobs as income sources (Table 1) Animal contact and exposure to bat Coronaviruses Serological testing of serum samples from 1,497 local residents revealed that 9 individuals (0.6%) in four study sites were positive for bat coronaviruses, indicating exposure at some point in their life to bat-borne SARSr-CoVs and HKU10-CoV or other coronaviruses that are phylogenetically closely related to these. All individuals who tested positive (male=6, female=3) were over 45 years old, and most (n=8) were making a living from crop production. None of those participants reported any symptoms in the 12 months preceding the interview. Due to the low rate of sero-positivity, we did not obtain robust results from the statistical comparisons of animal-contact behaviour by coronavirus outcome. Among the 1,585 participants who responded, 265 (17%) reported experiencing SARI (n = 73) and/or ILI (n = 227) symptoms in the last year. Some demographic variables were associated with self-reported SARI and/or ILI symptoms as either independent or interactive terms. For example, respondents aged 41 to 60 and residents of Yunnan province were less likely to report symptoms. Slaughtering poultry was positively associated with the outcome only in Guangxi residents, whereas the association was negative in Guangdong residents. Family income also showed interactions, with family income less than 10,000 RMB being positively associated with the outcome in respondents who raised poultry but negatively associated in respondents who cooked or handled poultry. Gender was not found to be salient in either direction. Attitudes towards zoonotic diseases emergence When asked about animals and disease transmission, more than half of the study participants believed that animals could spread disease and were worried about disease emergence from animals at wet markets. Of those worried about disease emergence, 46% purchased animals from wet markets in the past 12 months. Among all participants who purchased animals from wet markets in the past 12 months 32%), some  39% took protection measures or strategies such as washing hands, purchasing live animals less often 30%, or purchasing meat at supermarkets instead of live animal markets. Very few participants considered wearing a mask 1% or gloves  1%) while visiting the markets. Discussion Used was a novel human surveillance approach to integrate serological and behavioural data to characterize associations between human-animal contact and zoonotic disease spill over risk in Southern China. This study provides the first serological evidence of bat-borne SARSr-CoVs and HKU10-CoV transmission to people and highlights potential spill over pathways through animal contact. Given the high diversity and recombination rate of bat coronaviruses , and close relationship of SARSr-CoVs to SARS-CoV, it is possible that exposure to these coronaviruses may lead to disease emergence in human populations. Continuous surveillance of both human and bat populations, as well as further pathogenesis studies of these viruses, are important to determine the extent of the disease risk.Contact with animals was prevalent among the survey population. Raising poultry and having rodents/shrews in the house were the most common types of contact. It’s important to note that the questionnaire used broad classification of the type of animals for these exposures due to the presumed variability in respondent’s capacity to identify species or genera of wildlife. It is likely that the most significant exposure we identified (to carnivores) reflects animals as diverse as civets, porcupines, ferret badgers and taxas that respondents recognized as non-rodent and non-shrew. This study also assessed health risks from human interaction activities for each study participant in the survey based on their travel history and the health history of people who they lived with. The goal was to minimize the possibility that illness was caused by human-to-human transmission of pathogens causing ILI and/or SARI symptoms. researchers did not find evidence supporting a direct relationship between bat contact and bat coronavirus sero-positivity in the human population . However, there is frequent contact with domestic animals in these communities and it is known that other bat-borne viruses have been transmitted to humans via livestock (e.g. henipavirses and filoviruses). It is possible that these findings reflect other indirect exposures to bat CoVs, and future surveillance may benefit from including a wide range of livestock and peri-domestic animals in viral and serological studies to identify potential spill over pathways. While the majority of survey respondents believed that animals could spread disease and were worried about disease emergence from animals at wet markets, many did not take measures to protect themselves from exposure. Further work on what drives these local attitudes to risk may help in developing risk-mitigation behaviour change programs. A number of affordable and readily adaptable measures could be targeted to these at-risk populations, including the use of gloves and masks while killing or butchering animals, and handwashing. The low levels of sero-positivity found in the study could reflect a number of factors: the rarity of spill over and bat-to-human transmission, as has been reported for other virus-host systems the use of a snowball technique for sample selection that could have biased the population sampled the limited diversity of CoVs that this study tested for the possibility that these infections cause high mortality rates and therefore the number of survivors and number of seropositive people is low, although this seems unlikely because the mortality rate from SARS was >10% during an outbreak that included hospital exposure and therefore likely high infectious doses that antibodies to these viruses wane rapidly in humans. The latter hypothesis is supported by findings that antibodies to SARS decline rapidly (2–3 years) after illness. Expanding this approach to a larger population, using a longitudinal (repeated sampling) approach, and targeting people who are in the higher-risk categories identified here may provide a larger number of sero-positives and more critical information on the driving factors of viral spill over. However, despite the small sample sizes, this study suggests that there are a substantial number of people in rural Southern China who are exposed to bat-borne viruses, and that exposure likely occurs through the daily or normal practices of rural communities, rather than specific high-risk behaviours (e.g. wild animal hunting). Considering the proven potential of some SARSr-CoVs currently circulating in bats in southern China, to infect human cells, cause clinical signs in humanized mouse models, and lead to infections that cannot be treated with monoclonal therapies effective against SARS-CoV this represents a clear and present danger to our biosafety and public health. Further studies to determine the relationship between SARSr-CoV and HKU10-CoV exposure and illness in people may help elucidate this risk and provide critical mitigation strategies. What About the Bats? Bat populations in China appear to have decreased considerably in the last 30 years. China has a rich bat fauna, with 100 species described and taxonomic research on bats has increased in the last 2 decades. Four reasons may have been responsible: Extensive pesticide use has resulted in bioaccumulation in bats, reducing their survival Many old buildings were demolished during urbanization, reducing the availability of suitable roost sites People often include bats in their diet, and bats are served in restaurants. We make recommendations for improving bat conservation in China. Education programmes about bat conservation should be provided for adults and schoolchildren, and laws for protecting bats need to be enacted and enforced. The roosting sites of bats should be protected comprehensively, and pesticide use should be regulated Cave exploitation for tourism has changed the atmosphere and temperature in caves,disturbing bats directly The flow of visitors causes fluctuations in carbon dioxide content and temperature, and cave topography and dimensions affect the accumulation and diffusion of the gas, disturbing bats directly for example, the maximum CO2 content increased from 1,000 to 7,000 ppm in the chamber in Baiyun Cave, Hebei, after c. 3,000 people visited for 5 hours, and the temperature increased from 16.8 to 19.6. The effects of disturbance on bats and other cave fauna have seldom been studied in China. Lighting schemes have been installed for visitors without any consideration of the effects on bats and other cave animals, paths have been constructed, and gates at cave entrances for managing visitors are often unsuitable for flying bats to negotiate. The population of fruit bat Rousettus leschenaulti in Yiling Cave in Guangxi Province, for example, decreased from c. 5,000 to 2,000 after cave tourism was implemented in 1993. Yiling Cave in Guangxi Province Based on surveys of bats in China, combined with enquiries to local people, we estimate that the bat population may have decreased by 60% in the last 30 years. Bats provide important ecosystem services, pollinating plants, dispersing seeds and controlling pests. However many people in China regard bats as vermin because some species feed on economically important fruits, such as longan and litchi. Bats are also regarded as nefarious animals because they fly in the dark. Before the emergence of the SARS virus many restaurants in Guangzhou and other cities in south China offered bats, and live bats were also sold in markets. In some remote villages our surveys have repeatedly revealed that local people capture wild bats to eat, to meet their protein requirements. We have also found bamboo wattles, used to kill bats, in caves. There are additional factors causing decreases of bat populations in China. Many forests were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) and vast steel-making and iron-smelting facilities were established, resulting in the loss of many roosting sites and foraging areas. Recently, many small paper mills have been built, resulting in the clear-cutting of forests and their replacement with the fast growing eucalypts that are preferred by the mills. We have found that many limestone hills excavated to make cement have lost their bat-roosting caves. No bat species are included in the lists of wildlife under special state protection (1989 Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Wildlife), and no nature reserves protect bat species or their roost sites. The 2019-nCoV outbreak is another reminder that people should limit the consumption of wild animals to prevent zoonotic infections. Before you go! 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The coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, has killed 2.804+ people, 82.186+ people are proven infected worldwide with the coronavirus (Thursday, 27-02-2020). The Coronavirus is a zoonotic disease, meaning it jumps from animals to humans.  The Coronivirus: What Was The Intermediate Host The SARS coronavirus, which killed 774 people in the early 2000s, jumped from bats to civets to people. The Wuhan coronavirus is also thought to have originated in bats, which may have passed the disease to snakes or Pangolins, which then passed it to humans. Snakes Could Be the Original Source of the New Coronavirus Outbreak in China. A study of the virus’s genetic sequence suggests similarities to that seen in snakes, but is it? Recommended:  Coronavirus COVID-19: Worse Then Thought: A Must Read Update SARS and MERS: The Bat, The Masked Palm Civet And Camels Both SARS and MERS are classified as zoonotic viral diseases, meaning the first patients who were infected acquired these viruses directly from animals. This was possible because while in the animal host, the virus had acquired a series of genetic mutations that allowed it to infect and multiply inside humans. How do docters test for SARS? Lab tests to detect SARS virus include a blood test, a nasal swab or a sample from your stool or urine, or growing the virus in culture. Now these viruses can be transmitted from person to person. Field studies have revealed that the original source of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV is the bat, and that the masked palm civets (a mammal native to Asia and Africa) and camels, respectively, served as intermediate hosts between bats and humans. How do you test for MERS? Molecular Tests Real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) assays are molecular tests that can be used to detect viral RNA in clinical samples.  Most state laboratories in the United States are approved to test for MERS-CoV by using an rRT-PCR assay developed by CDC. From Bats To Snakes: The Wuhan Market In the case of this 2019 coronavirus outbreak, reports state that most of the first group of patients hospitalized were workers or customers at a local seafood wholesale market which also sold processed meats and live consumable animals including: poultry, donkeys, sheep, pigs, camels, foxes, badgers, bamboo rats, hedgehogs and reptiles. However, since no one has ever reported finding a coronavirus infecting aquatic animals, it is plausible that the coronavirus may have originated from other animals sold in that market. The hypothesis that the 2019-nCoV jumped from an animal at the market is strongly supported by a new publication in the Journal of Medical Virology. The scientists conducted an analysis and compared the genetic sequences of 2019-nCoV and all other known coronaviruses. From Bats To Pangolins Some Chinese researchers investigating the pangolin as possible origin of the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China. Friday they said that the endangered pangolin may be the ‘missing link’ between bats and humans, but other scientists said the search may not be over. An earlier study pointed to snakes, and there remain numerous candidate species in the Wuhan wildlife market thought to be ground zero of the epidemic. But according to Arnaud Fontanet, from France's Pasteur Institute, the disease likely didn't jump straight from bats to humans. "We think there's another animal that's an intermediary." Fontanet believes the intermediary was ‘probably a mammal’, possible belonging to the badger family. {youtube}                                                              Pangolins - The world's most trafficked animal After testing more than 1,000 samples from wild animals, scientists at the South China Agricultural University found the genome sequences of viruses in pangolins to be 99 percent identical to those on coronavirus patients, the official Xinhua news agency reported. "This is not scientific evidence," said James Wood, head of the department of veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge. "Investigations into animal reservoirs are extremely important, but results must be then be published for international scrutiny." "Simply reporting detection of viral RNA with sequence similarity of 99+ percent is not sufficient," he added. Eric Leroy, a virologist and vet at the IRD said the search could well turn up a result quickly like in the case of SARS. Equally, it could take years. Chinese Ferret Badger The study of the genetic code of 2019-nCoV reveals that the new virus is most closely related to two bat SARS-like coronavirus samples from China, initially suggesting that, like SARS and MERS, the bat might also be the origin of 2019-nCoV. The authors further found that the DNA coding sequence of 2019-nCoV spike protein, which forms the ‘crown’ of the virus particle that recognizes the receptor on a host cell, indicates that the bat virus might have mutated before infecting people. But when the researchers performed a more detailed bioinformatics analysis of the sequence of 2019-nCoV, it suggests that this coronavirus might come from snakes. Recommended:  Coronavirus, Flu And Climate Change: Is There A Connection? Coronavirus: Protein Codes From Snakes The researchers used an analysis of the protein codes favoured by the new coronavirus and compared it to the protein codes from coronaviruses found in different animal hosts, like birds, snakes, marmots, hedgehogs, manis, bats and humans. Surprisingly, they found that the protein codes in the 2019-nCoV are most similar to those used in snakes. What does a gene code for a protein? The journey from gene to protein is complex and tightly controlled within each cell. The type of RNA that contains the information for making a protein is called messenger RNA (mRNA) because it carries the information, or message, from the DNA out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm.                                                   Snakes Hunt Bats In A Cave | Planet Earth | BBC Earth Snakes often hunt for bats in wild . Reports indicate that snakes were sold in the local seafood market in Wuhan, raising the possibility that the 2019-nCoV might have jumped from the host species—bats—to snakes and then to humans at the beginning of this coronavirus outbreak. However, how the virus could adapt to both the cold-blooded and warm-blooded hosts remains a mystery. Researchers must verify the origin of the virus through laboratory experiments. Searching for the 2019-nCoV sequence in snakes would be the first thing to do. However, since the outbreak, the seafood market has been disinfected and shut down, which makes it challenging to trace the new virus’ source animal. Sampling DNA from animals sold at the market and from wild snakes and bats is needed to confirm the origin of the virus. Nonetheless, the reported findings will also provide insights for developing prevention and treatment protocols. Recommended:  Coronavirus: Bill Gates, 65 Million Death In A Simulation Coronavirus And Sars: Passed From Animals To Humans In a Wet Market The coronavirus spreading in China and the SARS outbreak of 2003 have two things in common: Both are from the coronavirus family and both were passed from animals to humans in a wet market. Poorly regulated live-animal markets mixed with illegal wildlife trade offer a unique opportunity for viruses to spill over from wildlife hosts into the human population. In the case of SARS, and probably this coronavirus outbreak too, bats were the original hosts. They then infected other animals via their poop or saliva, and the unwitting intermediaries transmitted the virus to humans. What does zoonotic mean? Zoonosis is another name for a zoonotic disease. This type of disease passes from an animal or insect to a human. Some don't make the animal sick but will sicken a human. Zoonotic diseases range from minor short-term illness to a major life-changing illness. Certain ones can even cause death. Chinese 'wet market'.  Coronavirus, COVID-19: Bats & Birds Reservoir Species For Viruses Bats and birds are considered reservoir species for viruses with pandemic potential according Bart Haagmans, a virologist at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In the past 45 years, at least three other pandemics (besides SARS) have been traced back to bats. The creatures were the original source of Ebola, which has killed 13,500 people in multiple outbreaks since 1976: Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, better known as MERS, which can be found in 28 countries The Nipah virus, which has a 78% fatality rate The coronavirus might have jumped from bats to snakes to people Not all coronaviruses are deadly, the ones endemic to humans, like the common cold, are often considered inconsequential. The coronaviruses that pose a pandemic risk, however, are those that hang out in animals. Because these viruses have not been circulating in humans before, specific immunity to these viruses is absent in humans. Coronavirus: Wuhan Experts haven’t yet confirmed the animal species that enabled it to spread to people, but they have some guesses. Scientists in China compared the genetic code of the Wuhan coronavirus to other coronaviruses and found it to be most similar to two bat coronavirus samples. Coronaviris via The Chinese Cobra? There’s an indication that it’s a bat virus said Vincent Munster, a scientist at Rocky Mountain Laboratories. According to a group of scientists who edit the Journal of Medical Virology, the intermediary species in this case could be the Chinese cobra. How do Coronaviruses spread? Coronaviruses primarily spread through close contact with another individual, in particular through coughing and sneezing on somebody else who is within a range of about 3 to 6 feet from that person. If an infected person sneezes or coughs onto a surface a countertop, for example  and another person touches that surface and then rubs his or her eyes or nose, for example, the latter may get sick. That’s because further genetic analysis showed that the genetic building blocks of the Wuhan coronavirus closely resembled that of snakes. So the researchers think a population of bats could have infected snakes, which passed the virus to humans as they were being sold at the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market in Wuhan. But the only way to be sure about where the virus came from is to take DNA samples from animals sold at that market and from wild snakes and bats in the area. Coronavirus: Why Bats Pose Such A Threat Bats harbour a significantly higher proportion of zoonotic viruses than other mammals, according to a 2017 study. Experts think that’s because bats can fly across large geographical ranges, transporting diseases as they go. That makes them an ideal host.  Bats pass along viruses in their poop: If they drop feces onto a piece of fruit that a different animal then eats, the creature can become a carrier. We know a fair amount of viruses on the World Health Organization’s Blueprint list of priority diseases have either a direct or indirect link with bats,” Munster said. (The list includes the SARS and MERS viruses.) Last March, a study even predicted that bats could be the source of a new coronavirus outbreak in China. It is highly likely that future SARS- or MERS-like coronavirus outbreaks will originate from bats, and there is an increased probability that this will occur in China. That’s because: The majority of coronaviruses – those that circulate both in humans and in animals – can be found in China Plus, the study authors said, most of the bat hosts of these coronaviruses live near humans in China, potentially transmitting viruses to humans and livestock The bat population from which the SARS virus originated, for example, lived in a cave just over 1 kilometre, or about half a mile, from the nearest village Similarly, a 2017 study warned that the risk of spill over into people and emergence of a disease similar to SARS is possible. The authors identified at least 300 separate strains of coronaviruses still circulating in bats. How SARS, MERS And Ebola Jumped From Bats To People Here are five viruses that most likely came from bats, and how the outbreaks compare. Researchers traced SARS to a population of horseshoe bats in China’s Yunnan province. Humans caught it from weasel-like mammals called masked palm civets at a wet market in Guangdong From 2002 to 2003, SARS killed 774 people across 29 countries and infected more than 8,000. Patients experienced fevers, headaches, and a type of deadly pneumonia that could cause respiratory failure MERS, similarly, passed from bats to dromedary camels in the Middle East. That coronavirus circulated in the camel population undetected for decades before jumping to humans in 2012. So far, 858 people have died in 28 countries from the illness, which comes with fever, cough, and shortness of breath In Southeast Asia, fruit bats were the original hosts of the deadly Nipah virus, which emerged in Malaysia in 1998 and then again in India in 2001. The bats passed it to farmed pigs, which gave it to people. Patients experienced headaches and vomiting; many slipped into a coma and died Fruit bats in Africa have played a major role in Ebola outbreaks since 1976. The worst Ebola outbreak in history, however, came from a population of long-fingered bats. More than 11,000 people were killed from 2013 to 2016. Fruit Bat Coronavirus: How To Prevent Zoonotic Diseases Like The Coronavirus From Spilling Over To People? At wet markets, the close proximity of shoppers to stall vendors and live and dead animals creates a prime breeding ground for zoonotic diseases. For cultural reasons in the region, people want to see the specific animals they’re buying be slaughtered in front of them, so they know they’re receiving the products they paid for,” according to Emily Langdon, an infectious disease specialist at University of Chicago Medicine. That means there’s a lot of skinning of dead animals in front of shoppers and, as a result, aerosolizing of all sorts of things. The most likely virus that might cause a new pandemic would be a coronavirus. We’re in an age of epidemics because: of globalization of encroachment on wild environments Coronavirus, COVID-19: Human Health And Climate Change Climate change produced many harmful effects on human health in Central China. The cardiovascu-lar mortalities increased year by year in Wuhan from 1998 to 2008. And the morbidity was highest in winter and lowest in summer. The increasing frequency and intensity of summer heat waves resulted in the increased risk of summer cardiovascular, respiratory system diseases and heat stroke. The regional precipitation became uneven in Central China, which caused more floods and increased risk of infectious diseases like malaria, Japanese encephalitis, and conjunctivitis. The incidence of intestinal infectious diseases increased from 66.04% to 80.97% in Hubei during 1991–1997. Climate Change Helped Snails Survive The Winter Season  Behavioural risks that leads to the emergence of bat coronaviruses in humans Bat borne coronaviruses have caused several emerging infectious disease outbreaks of global significance, including SARS. Novel SARS-related coronaviruses have been discovered in bat populations in Southern China, some of which have the capacity to infect human cells Human-animal interactions are thought to be critical for the emergence of bat coronaviruses, however the specific interactions linked to animal-to-human spill over remain unknown. Coronaviris: New Findings This study found serological evidence for bat-borne coronavirus transmission to people. Direct contact with bats was not identified as a risk factor. However, self-reported severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) and/or influenza-like illness (ILI) was linked to human interaction with other wildlife and livestock, suggesting that there may be other zoonotic exposures leading to clinical illness in these populations. Vendors wait for customers as dogs are kept in a cage at Dashichang dog market ahead of a local dog meat festival in Yulin, Guangxi Autonomous Region Human interaction with animals has been implicated as a primary risk factor for several high impact zoonoses, including many bat-origin viral diseases. However the animal-to-human spill over events that lead to emerging diseases are rarely observed or clinically examined, and the link between specific interactions and spill over risk is poorly understood. To investigate this phenomenon, researchers conducted biological-behavioural surveillance among rural residents in Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong districts of Southern China, where we have identified a number of SARS-related coronaviruses in bats. Serum samples were tested for four bat-borne coronaviruses using newly developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Survey data were used to characterize associations between human-animal contact and bat coronavirus spill over risk. Coronavirus From Animals To Humans A total of 1,596 residents were enrolled in the study from 2015 to 2017 Nine participants (0.6%) tested positive for bat coronaviruses . 265 (17%) participants reported severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and/or influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms in the past year, which were associated with poultry, carnivore, rodent/shrew, or bat contact, with variability by family income and district of residence. This study provides serological evidence of bat coronavirus spill over in rural communities in Southern China. The low seroprevalence observed in this study suggests that bat coronavirus spill over is a rare event. Nonetheless, this study highlights associations between human-animal interaction and zoonotic spill over risk. These findings can be used to support targeted biological behavioural surveillance in high-risk geographic areas in order to reduce the risk of zoonotic disease emergence. Coronavirus, COVID-19: Interaction Between Humans And Animals A health Risk? In the highly biodiverse southern region of China, interactions among humans, wildlife, and livestock are likely to be common, and are hypothesized to be a risk factor in the emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases. Human-animal interactions may pose a particular public health threat in rural communities where frequent contact with animals occurs and where disease prevention measures are likely less well-developed. What is a hypothesis? In science, a hypothesis is an idea or explanation that you then test through study and experimentation. Outside science, a theory or guess can also be called a hypothesis. A hypothesis is something more than a wild guess but less than a well-established theory. Although human-animal interactions are thought to be associated with zoonotic disease emergence, few studies have addressed the nature of specific interactions that occur between animals (particularly wild animals) and humans that lead to pathogen spill over. Bats (order Chiroptera) are reservoirs of a large number of zoonotic viruses, including coronaviruses (CoVs) that have caused disease outbreaks in human and livestock populations Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), the causative agent of the SARS outbreak affecting 32 countries in 2002-3, infecting 8,096 people and causing 774 deaths Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which has caused 823 deaths from 2,374 human cases in 27 countries by the end of February 2019, and is thought to have originally spilled over from bats into camels , in which is it now endemic Severe acute diarrhoea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV) which emerged in the pig population of Southern China and caused the deaths of more than 20,000 piglets in 2017 and 2018 A large diversity of coronaviruses, including SARS-related Coronaviruses (SARSr-CoVs), has been discovered in bats, and phylogenetic and pathogenesis studies of these suggest a high capacity for transmission across species barriers. However, few studies have analysed bat-to-human spill over events in non-outbreak conditions, likely due to the rarity of these events and difficulties in identifying at-risk populations or target geographies. Additionally, the symptoms of novel bat coronavirus infection in the human population may not be clinically recognized at the time of emergence as a result of a lack of adequate surveillance or confusion with other diseases. This represents a significant biosafety risk considering the large and increasing number of coronaviruses discovered in bats and the wide distribution of bat populations in rural regions such as Southern China. We report on a study designed to characterize the bat coronavirus spill over potential associated with presumed high-risk human behaviour in rural communities of Southern China. Human Populations Close To bats And Wildlife A cross-sectional study was done in the districts of Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong, China, which are known for their high levels of wildlife biodiversity, active wildlife trade activity, and historic zoonotic disease emergence events. Eight study sites were selected in areas where we have previously reported diverse coronaviruses in bat populations roosting close (within 5 km) to human dwellings. The study targeted human populations that are highly exposed to bats and other wildlife, including people who visit or work around bat caves, work in local live animal markets, raise animals, or are involved in wildlife trade (e.g., wild animal harvest, trade, transportation, and preparation), as identified by previous exploratory ethnographic interviews. Recruitment and sampling We aimed to obtain a minimum sample size of 400 participants from each of the three districts (Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong), for a total sample size of over 1,200 participants. A snowball sampling method was used because the population size at selected sites and the people who were highly exposed to wild animals were difficult to elucidate. Results From October 2015 to July 2017, a total of 1,596 residents from eight sites in Yunnan (n=761), Guangxi (n=412), and Guangdong (n=423) provinces were enrolled in this study. Of these, 1,585 participants completed the questionnaires and 11 participants withdrew from the questionnaire interview due to scheduling reasons. After the interviews, 1,497 participants provided biological samples for lab analysis. Demographics More female (62%) than male (38%) community members participated in this study. Most participants were adults over 45 years old (69%) and had been living in the community for more than 5 years (97%) with their family members (95%). A majority (86%) relied on a comparatively low family annual per capita income less than 10,000 RMB which is below the national mean for per capita disposable income of rural households from 2015 to 2017 (11,422 - 13,432 RMB). Most participants (98%) had not received a college education and were making a living in crop production (76%). 9% of participants frequently traveled outside the county as migrant laborers. Some participants were working in sectors where frequent human-animal contact occurs, such as the animal production business (1.7%), wild animal trade (0.5%), slaughterhouses or abattoirs (0.5%), protected nature reserve rangers (0.4%) or in wildlife restaurants (0.3%). It was common for participants to have multiple part-time jobs as income sources (Table 1) Animal contact and exposure to bat Coronaviruses Serological testing of serum samples from 1,497 local residents revealed that 9 individuals (0.6%) in four study sites were positive for bat coronaviruses, indicating exposure at some point in their life to bat-borne SARSr-CoVs and HKU10-CoV or other coronaviruses that are phylogenetically closely related to these. All individuals who tested positive (male=6, female=3) were over 45 years old, and most (n=8) were making a living from crop production. None of those participants reported any symptoms in the 12 months preceding the interview. Due to the low rate of sero-positivity, we did not obtain robust results from the statistical comparisons of animal-contact behaviour by coronavirus outcome. Among the 1,585 participants who responded, 265 (17%) reported experiencing SARI (n = 73) and/or ILI (n = 227) symptoms in the last year. Some demographic variables were associated with self-reported SARI and/or ILI symptoms as either independent or interactive terms. For example, respondents aged 41 to 60 and residents of Yunnan province were less likely to report symptoms. Slaughtering poultry was positively associated with the outcome only in Guangxi residents, whereas the association was negative in Guangdong residents. Family income also showed interactions, with family income less than 10,000 RMB being positively associated with the outcome in respondents who raised poultry but negatively associated in respondents who cooked or handled poultry. Gender was not found to be salient in either direction. Attitudes towards zoonotic diseases emergence When asked about animals and disease transmission, more than half of the study participants believed that animals could spread disease and were worried about disease emergence from animals at wet markets. Of those worried about disease emergence, 46% purchased animals from wet markets in the past 12 months. Among all participants who purchased animals from wet markets in the past 12 months 32%), some  39% took protection measures or strategies such as washing hands, purchasing live animals less often 30%, or purchasing meat at supermarkets instead of live animal markets. Very few participants considered wearing a mask 1% or gloves  1%) while visiting the markets. Discussion Used was a novel human surveillance approach to integrate serological and behavioural data to characterize associations between human-animal contact and zoonotic disease spill over risk in Southern China. This study provides the first serological evidence of bat-borne SARSr-CoVs and HKU10-CoV transmission to people and highlights potential spill over pathways through animal contact. Given the high diversity and recombination rate of bat coronaviruses , and close relationship of SARSr-CoVs to SARS-CoV, it is possible that exposure to these coronaviruses may lead to disease emergence in human populations. Continuous surveillance of both human and bat populations, as well as further pathogenesis studies of these viruses, are important to determine the extent of the disease risk.Contact with animals was prevalent among the survey population. Raising poultry and having rodents/shrews in the house were the most common types of contact. It’s important to note that the questionnaire used broad classification of the type of animals for these exposures due to the presumed variability in respondent’s capacity to identify species or genera of wildlife. It is likely that the most significant exposure we identified (to carnivores) reflects animals as diverse as civets, porcupines, ferret badgers and taxas that respondents recognized as non-rodent and non-shrew. This study also assessed health risks from human interaction activities for each study participant in the survey based on their travel history and the health history of people who they lived with. The goal was to minimize the possibility that illness was caused by human-to-human transmission of pathogens causing ILI and/or SARI symptoms. researchers did not find evidence supporting a direct relationship between bat contact and bat coronavirus sero-positivity in the human population . However, there is frequent contact with domestic animals in these communities and it is known that other bat-borne viruses have been transmitted to humans via livestock (e.g. henipavirses and filoviruses). It is possible that these findings reflect other indirect exposures to bat CoVs, and future surveillance may benefit from including a wide range of livestock and peri-domestic animals in viral and serological studies to identify potential spill over pathways. While the majority of survey respondents believed that animals could spread disease and were worried about disease emergence from animals at wet markets, many did not take measures to protect themselves from exposure. Further work on what drives these local attitudes to risk may help in developing risk-mitigation behaviour change programs. A number of affordable and readily adaptable measures could be targeted to these at-risk populations, including the use of gloves and masks while killing or butchering animals, and handwashing. The low levels of sero-positivity found in the study could reflect a number of factors: the rarity of spill over and bat-to-human transmission, as has been reported for other virus-host systems the use of a snowball technique for sample selection that could have biased the population sampled the limited diversity of CoVs that this study tested for the possibility that these infections cause high mortality rates and therefore the number of survivors and number of seropositive people is low, although this seems unlikely because the mortality rate from SARS was >10% during an outbreak that included hospital exposure and therefore likely high infectious doses that antibodies to these viruses wane rapidly in humans. The latter hypothesis is supported by findings that antibodies to SARS decline rapidly (2–3 years) after illness. Expanding this approach to a larger population, using a longitudinal (repeated sampling) approach, and targeting people who are in the higher-risk categories identified here may provide a larger number of sero-positives and more critical information on the driving factors of viral spill over. However, despite the small sample sizes, this study suggests that there are a substantial number of people in rural Southern China who are exposed to bat-borne viruses, and that exposure likely occurs through the daily or normal practices of rural communities, rather than specific high-risk behaviours (e.g. wild animal hunting). Considering the proven potential of some SARSr-CoVs currently circulating in bats in southern China, to infect human cells, cause clinical signs in humanized mouse models, and lead to infections that cannot be treated with monoclonal therapies effective against SARS-CoV this represents a clear and present danger to our biosafety and public health. Further studies to determine the relationship between SARSr-CoV and HKU10-CoV exposure and illness in people may help elucidate this risk and provide critical mitigation strategies. What About the Bats? Bat populations in China appear to have decreased considerably in the last 30 years. China has a rich bat fauna, with 100 species described and taxonomic research on bats has increased in the last 2 decades. Four reasons may have been responsible: Extensive pesticide use has resulted in bioaccumulation in bats, reducing their survival Many old buildings were demolished during urbanization, reducing the availability of suitable roost sites People often include bats in their diet, and bats are served in restaurants. We make recommendations for improving bat conservation in China. Education programmes about bat conservation should be provided for adults and schoolchildren, and laws for protecting bats need to be enacted and enforced. The roosting sites of bats should be protected comprehensively, and pesticide use should be regulated Cave exploitation for tourism has changed the atmosphere and temperature in caves,disturbing bats directly The flow of visitors causes fluctuations in carbon dioxide content and temperature, and cave topography and dimensions affect the accumulation and diffusion of the gas, disturbing bats directly for example, the maximum CO2 content increased from 1,000 to 7,000 ppm in the chamber in Baiyun Cave, Hebei, after c. 3,000 people visited for 5 hours, and the temperature increased from 16.8 to 19.6. The effects of disturbance on bats and other cave fauna have seldom been studied in China. Lighting schemes have been installed for visitors without any consideration of the effects on bats and other cave animals, paths have been constructed, and gates at cave entrances for managing visitors are often unsuitable for flying bats to negotiate. The population of fruit bat Rousettus leschenaulti in Yiling Cave in Guangxi Province, for example, decreased from c. 5,000 to 2,000 after cave tourism was implemented in 1993. Yiling Cave in Guangxi Province Based on surveys of bats in China, combined with enquiries to local people, we estimate that the bat population may have decreased by 60% in the last 30 years. Bats provide important ecosystem services, pollinating plants, dispersing seeds and controlling pests. However many people in China regard bats as vermin because some species feed on economically important fruits, such as longan and litchi. Bats are also regarded as nefarious animals because they fly in the dark. Before the emergence of the SARS virus many restaurants in Guangzhou and other cities in south China offered bats, and live bats were also sold in markets. In some remote villages our surveys have repeatedly revealed that local people capture wild bats to eat, to meet their protein requirements. We have also found bamboo wattles, used to kill bats, in caves. There are additional factors causing decreases of bat populations in China. Many forests were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) and vast steel-making and iron-smelting facilities were established, resulting in the loss of many roosting sites and foraging areas. Recently, many small paper mills have been built, resulting in the clear-cutting of forests and their replacement with the fast growing eucalypts that are preferred by the mills. We have found that many limestone hills excavated to make cement have lost their bat-roosting caves. No bat species are included in the lists of wildlife under special state protection (1989 Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Wildlife), and no nature reserves protect bat species or their roost sites. The 2019-nCoV outbreak is another reminder that people should limit the consumption of wild animals to prevent zoonotic infections. Before you go! Recommended:  Climate Change Causes Nature To Change: The World Affected Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the change in wildlife? Click on  'Re g ister'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
Coronavirus, COVID-19: From Pangolin, Snake Or Bat. Fact?
Coronavirus, COVID-19: From Pangolin, Snake Or Bat. Fact?
We Created The Coronavirus: A Milieu Flaw That Will Kill Us
You have probably read a great deal about the Corona virus outbreak thus far, whether this is of your own choosing or forced upon you by the mass media. At times, turning on the tv might feel as if you have tuned into one of those apocalypse movies that start with a man-created virus that sweeps the world in a deadly pandemic.   The Corona Virus Spreading Like Wildfire Warning: Disturbing Photo's & Video! Thousands of people have been confirmed infected with the potentially lethal disease originating from Wuhan, China. A few hundreds have died thus far. It is not just the medical world that is frantically trying to find ways of reigning in the outbreak, other industries are equally affected - from the hit that China’s famed industry is taking to airlines ceasing their China operations and politics’ attempts to ban anything and anyone coming from the affected region. The one industry that is thriving is that for face masks, which are now sported by those who still dare to walk on the streets of ground-zero city Wuhan. Although its protective effect has not been proven thus far, people are eager to find a way of averting this imminent doom. The disease that once started as a relatively innocent bug floating around at a live animal market, is now starting to gain traction and spreading fast and furiously.   Man Made Diseases: Corona Virus Explained While the name might put you in a sunny mood, thinking of warm beaches and refreshing lemon-infused beer, nothing would have been further from the minds of the group of Chinese scientists who isolated, identified and named the virus. Their general consensus is that the disease jumped from animal to man at the end of last year; with bats being the main suspect for having transferred it - possibly through other animals - to us. Recommended:  Coronavirus, Flu And Climate Change: Is There A Connection? And while some may claim that this virus is just a stroke of bad luck, the reality is that we are the ones who started it. We are responsible for each and every person that dies at the hands of this horrible disease. No, we did not singlehandedly inject a supervirus into the blood flow of unsuspecting fellow human beings - that I give you. But we did create the circumstances that have allowed all of the current heartbreak to occur. Destroying Habitats For Animals And Their Diseases This includes the fact that we are overcrowding our planet, that is seemingly bursting at its seams. Never before have there been so many of us, a growth that is expected to continue exponentially. This means that we are constantly trying to find more places to live and more food to put in our mouths. All 7.6 billion of us are trying to find our place in this world, and if this means that we have to take it away from precious rainforests, savannahs and wetlands, then so be it. {youtube}                                                    This may explain the spread of China's new virus We are using up the earth’s scarce resources and polluting her to a point where she will no longer be able to rebound on her own accord. At the same time, we are moving into the habitat of animals, who will find themselves forced to relocate to lands that they definitely not suited for. The distance between animal and human has decreased, making it much easier for diseases to jump from animal to human. Recommended:  Climate Change Africa, Pakistan: Locust Destroy All Crops Add to this that we are eager for food, and it is not hard to see why this forced relocation of animals will lead to an increase in animal trade as well. Viruses that were previously only hosted by animals are now uprooted in a similar fashion. They also need a different ecosystem, and unfortunately, we make some pretty good hosts. Live Animals Markets At The Root The number of diseases that have evolved in such a fashion are numerous. SARS, MERS, Ebola, West Nile, bird flu, H.I.V. - all examples of how we are getting too close to animals. It does not help that live animal markets are still largely unregulated in large parts of Asia and Africa, meaning that a wide variety of wild animals can be traded easily and freely.   These omnivorous markets are as fascinating to the Western eye as they are dangerous. Animals that are not normally confronted with humans - or each other - are packed together tightly in a loud and largely unhygienic setting. Ground zero for dangerous disease mutations if you ever saw one. Granted, China has now forbidden such markets, although many fear this is merely a temporary measure in response to the Corona virus. Bio Industry To Blame Equally Westerners typically look down upon the live animal trading practices that are commonplace to our eastern neighbours. Unfortunately they are far from saints either. In Europe and North America, the bio industry is thriving - with farms looking more and more like factories instead of traditional animal husbandry operations. In these livestock factories, animals are equally packed, allowing for an easy spread of diseases.   The BSE-disease did not originate from some exotic animal, it was our own, trustworthy cow that caused all of the distress. Affected animals are quick to infect one another and, if in close proximity to other animals or humans, create some hybrid virus that could prove to be lethal. The widespread use of antibiotics in the sector is only adding to this problem, creating super strong and hyper resistant strains that are hard, if not impossible, to treat. So, time to ‘fess up. We did create the Corona virus. Through our lacklustre attitude towards animals and animal trade. Through our insatiable urge to expand, and thus reduce treasured ecosystems. Through our profit-oriented way of living. And yes, it is much harder to cure the virus than it seemingly was to create it. This juxtaposition should in and of itself provide sufficient food for thought for those who still refuse to face the truth. Before you go! Recommended:  Coronavirus Symptoms Clarified: Males 50+ Are Most At Risk Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the Coronavirus, the environment and/or wet markets? Click on  'Re g ister'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
You have probably read a great deal about the Corona virus outbreak thus far, whether this is of your own choosing or forced upon you by the mass media. At times, turning on the tv might feel as if you have tuned into one of those apocalypse movies that start with a man-created virus that sweeps the world in a deadly pandemic.   The Corona Virus Spreading Like Wildfire Warning: Disturbing Photo's & Video! Thousands of people have been confirmed infected with the potentially lethal disease originating from Wuhan, China. A few hundreds have died thus far. It is not just the medical world that is frantically trying to find ways of reigning in the outbreak, other industries are equally affected - from the hit that China’s famed industry is taking to airlines ceasing their China operations and politics’ attempts to ban anything and anyone coming from the affected region. The one industry that is thriving is that for face masks, which are now sported by those who still dare to walk on the streets of ground-zero city Wuhan. Although its protective effect has not been proven thus far, people are eager to find a way of averting this imminent doom. The disease that once started as a relatively innocent bug floating around at a live animal market, is now starting to gain traction and spreading fast and furiously.   Man Made Diseases: Corona Virus Explained While the name might put you in a sunny mood, thinking of warm beaches and refreshing lemon-infused beer, nothing would have been further from the minds of the group of Chinese scientists who isolated, identified and named the virus. Their general consensus is that the disease jumped from animal to man at the end of last year; with bats being the main suspect for having transferred it - possibly through other animals - to us. Recommended:  Coronavirus, Flu And Climate Change: Is There A Connection? And while some may claim that this virus is just a stroke of bad luck, the reality is that we are the ones who started it. We are responsible for each and every person that dies at the hands of this horrible disease. No, we did not singlehandedly inject a supervirus into the blood flow of unsuspecting fellow human beings - that I give you. But we did create the circumstances that have allowed all of the current heartbreak to occur. Destroying Habitats For Animals And Their Diseases This includes the fact that we are overcrowding our planet, that is seemingly bursting at its seams. Never before have there been so many of us, a growth that is expected to continue exponentially. This means that we are constantly trying to find more places to live and more food to put in our mouths. All 7.6 billion of us are trying to find our place in this world, and if this means that we have to take it away from precious rainforests, savannahs and wetlands, then so be it. {youtube}                                                    This may explain the spread of China's new virus We are using up the earth’s scarce resources and polluting her to a point where she will no longer be able to rebound on her own accord. At the same time, we are moving into the habitat of animals, who will find themselves forced to relocate to lands that they definitely not suited for. The distance between animal and human has decreased, making it much easier for diseases to jump from animal to human. Recommended:  Climate Change Africa, Pakistan: Locust Destroy All Crops Add to this that we are eager for food, and it is not hard to see why this forced relocation of animals will lead to an increase in animal trade as well. Viruses that were previously only hosted by animals are now uprooted in a similar fashion. They also need a different ecosystem, and unfortunately, we make some pretty good hosts. Live Animals Markets At The Root The number of diseases that have evolved in such a fashion are numerous. SARS, MERS, Ebola, West Nile, bird flu, H.I.V. - all examples of how we are getting too close to animals. It does not help that live animal markets are still largely unregulated in large parts of Asia and Africa, meaning that a wide variety of wild animals can be traded easily and freely.   These omnivorous markets are as fascinating to the Western eye as they are dangerous. Animals that are not normally confronted with humans - or each other - are packed together tightly in a loud and largely unhygienic setting. Ground zero for dangerous disease mutations if you ever saw one. Granted, China has now forbidden such markets, although many fear this is merely a temporary measure in response to the Corona virus. Bio Industry To Blame Equally Westerners typically look down upon the live animal trading practices that are commonplace to our eastern neighbours. Unfortunately they are far from saints either. In Europe and North America, the bio industry is thriving - with farms looking more and more like factories instead of traditional animal husbandry operations. In these livestock factories, animals are equally packed, allowing for an easy spread of diseases.   The BSE-disease did not originate from some exotic animal, it was our own, trustworthy cow that caused all of the distress. Affected animals are quick to infect one another and, if in close proximity to other animals or humans, create some hybrid virus that could prove to be lethal. The widespread use of antibiotics in the sector is only adding to this problem, creating super strong and hyper resistant strains that are hard, if not impossible, to treat. So, time to ‘fess up. We did create the Corona virus. Through our lacklustre attitude towards animals and animal trade. Through our insatiable urge to expand, and thus reduce treasured ecosystems. Through our profit-oriented way of living. And yes, it is much harder to cure the virus than it seemingly was to create it. This juxtaposition should in and of itself provide sufficient food for thought for those who still refuse to face the truth. Before you go! Recommended:  Coronavirus Symptoms Clarified: Males 50+ Are Most At Risk Did you find this an interesting article or do you have a question or remark? Leave a comment below. We try to respond the same day. Like to write your own article about the Coronavirus, the environment and/or wet markets? Click on  'Re g ister'  or push the button 'Write An Article' on the  'HomePage'
We Created The Coronavirus: A Milieu Flaw That Will Kill Us
We Created The Coronavirus: A Milieu Flaw That Will Kill Us
Community

A community is you and me. A network of social, economic, ecological and many other relationships. We all work together and live in urban, suburban and rural areas. Social sustainability is becoming increasingly important on our small planet. We define: support, quality of life, development, adaptation, rights and labour.

We belong to a group of individuals - our society - in which we belong geographically. Certain environmental issues play an important role in our society. Here, sustainable solutions are sought, developed and implemented. This may differ from societies in other countries, but because of our global environmental issues and dependence, we must learn to work more together so that we can all benefit from sharing sustainable knowledge to tackle, for example, climate change.

Green architecture is important. Building with local materials that can be recycled and reused brings us a big step forward to have less impact on the environment. With green architecture we can build smart cities where resources can be used more efficiently and information can be shared, thus improving our society, your community.

Lifestyle is the way we live, the dynamics of personality. Fashion defines our self and together with food it is getting - at present - an even more important role in our society. It's not just about taste, but especially about the burden that the fashion industry, agriculture and the meat industry have on our resources, especially water.

If there was an urge to come up with a sustainable way of living solutions and share these topics globally it’s now! WhatsOrb Global Sustainability X-change Platform is for you, storytellers and influencers to write about tiny houses, your experiences and expectations for the future at home and globally. 

Global Sustainability X-change, that’s what you can do together with WhatsOrb. What's in for me?

 

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