According to the State of the World’s Forests 2022 report, India and China could become the biggest hotspots for new zoonotic viral diseases — those that spread from wildlife to other mammals — and very likely to humans in the coming decades if human pressure on forests continues to rise, resulting in increased human-wildlife interactions.
The discovery comes just days after a scientific paper published in the journal ‘Nature’ made a similar forecast, stating that climate change-driven alterations might result in more than 15,000 additional cases of mammals transferring viruses to other mammals over the next 50 years.
According to the study, at least 10,000 virus species are capable of infecting people. These are currently circulating silently in wild mammals; according to the study, ‘Climate change increases cross-species viral transmission risk.’
According to the study, climate and land-use change will create new opportunities for viral sharing among previously geographically separated species of wildlife, resulting in zoonotic spillover or disease transmission from animals to humans.
According to the study, this risk will be greatest in countries with a high human population density, such as Asia and Africa, where viral illness transmission might increase by 4,000 times.