Coronavirus – March 24th breaking news from Italy

Coronavirus

Today I was reading two interesting interviews. One with Mario Tozzi, a well-known Italian geologist and naturalist and the othe with Professor Massimo Ciccozzi of the Campus Bio-Medic University of Rome. Tozzi, with reference to some scientific treatises, exposed the correlation between the recent pandemics and the drastic environmental mutation that has taken place in recent decades. Tozzi refers in particular to deforestation, intensive farming and air pollution. Themes, these, which leave some skeptics who, however, should reflect on some historical and objective facts. Deforestation in some cases determines the extinction of species but, often, the need for animals to seek a new habitat. In fact, there are several countries in the world that see growing the number of wild animals within urban centers and with it the risk of this and other viruses passing from species to species. It has now been established, for example, that the crisis that caused the Niphal epidemic in 1998 in Malaysia originated in intensive farming, just as Ciccozzi claims that the bat caused the COVID-19 infection, created in the Chinese wet markets and not the pangolin nor the snakes. The bat in particular is brought healthy by the virus. He developed a strong immune and anti-inflammatory system capable of defending itself from the virus, but particularly under stress, the over production of saliva leads it to be highly contagious. However, seems also clear that there is a link between air pollution and the spread of COVID-19. In fact, it has been registered that the most affected areas are highly polluted such the province of Hubei in China and the Po Valley in Italy. Two of the most polluted areas in the world. The Po Valley in particular has the highest level of air pollution in all of Europe. PM10 and other fine particles in the atmosphere caused by pollution are an extraordinary vehicle for these pathogens and lead to aggravated respiratory diseases. Pollution is therefore closely linked to the spread of these epidemics and these pathogens in the air. In summary, human concentration, the conspicuous intercontinental circulation of men and goods, deforestation and the approach of animal species to inhabited centers only favor and increase the possibility of pandemics, as indeed has happened in recent years. Professor Ciccozzi reconstructed the genetic mutation that allowed the new coronavirus, which developed in China, to infect humans too. According to him we cannot compare COVID -19 to a normal flu virus. If anything, we can compare it to that of SARS compared to which it is less harmful but more insidious since it is able to change quickly and unpredictably. If the SARS 2002-2003 virus carries out a mutation every 10 thousand nucleoditic bases, that of COVID-19 performs it every thousand. Every time the virus is transmitted from man to man, it mutates because the immunological environment changes. The first mutation made him make the leap in species, two others made it very contagious but less harmful than Sars, but we do not know what else can happen if it changes again, nothing or the unpredictable could happen. For this reason, in doubt, the epidemic must be stopped. How, Here is the suggestion of  Andrea Crisanti director of the molecular medicine department and Professor of epidemiology and virology of the University of Padua Hospital who closely and successfully followed the crisis of Vo in Veneto (Italy). Related posts: CORONAVIRUS –  march 20th, Breaking news from Italy

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