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How are diseases spread?

So I was reading about the possibility of C19 coming from pangolins. Chinese regularly eat pangolins and therefore most likely contracted a disease from eating them. But here's where I'm stuck: why wouldn't that act like food poisoning and only effect the person who ingested the tainted meat? How would it transform into a communicable disease?
2 Responses
134578 tn?1602101550
It sounds like you're thinking the virus came from eating the meat of an animal. It doesn't pass that way, though if a butcher is doing his or her work and there is a mist of bodily droplets from the animal in the air, it's possible for the human to inhale some of the droplets. Covid-19 is passed by inhaling the microorganism or by rubbing it into your eye or nose.

It's not known what animal the virus originally jumped to humans from a year ago. Pangolins were speculated about, and bats. But by now, the main animal humans get Covid-19 from is other humans.


4 Comments
Just to say, the problem with the Chinese wet markets is that they sell live animals.  Corona viruses generally come from bats, which seem to have an immunity to them but can pass them on.  Some people eat bats, and some of them are Chinese.  They have very old eating habits as they have a very old culture and they also have very unsafe markets where live animals are stacked in cages where disease becomes easy to spread.  We have some of the same problems with the way we raise animals in the US and Europe, which is how mad cow disease got spread and how we probably got many of the diseases we have.  Influenza is thought to come from chickens, also from China, a very very long time ago.  But this isn't to say we know for certain where it came from.  HIV is thought to have come from monkeys, although exactly how is unknown.  It's possible through bodily fluids and it's even possible through sexual contact between humans and animals, as historically that's a thing.  We are probably exposed to a whole lot of diseases from live animals and they are exposed by us as well, but our immune systems defeat most of them.  When that system can't do that, we have a pandemic.  We are full of diseases, this is just the newest one, as the world evolved randomly and diseases are constantly evolving and trying to survive just as we are.  Peace.
Yes, Definitely it is not about what animal brought it. But now we humans are the main victims.
Exactly, your example of butcher might correct if it was proven that covid-19 specifically came from pangolins.
Not really.  Again, the disease isn't caused by the ingestion of the animal in this case but exposure to an airborne virus.  It wouldn't be caused by eating a bat, for example, but by being exposed to a live bat before killing it and eating it that had the virus.  Bats are repositories for many corona viruses, which is why bats are suspected, but they don't themselves suffer illness from it.  So not sure how the butcher is involved here except for being exposed to a live bat, which you can do in a lot of ways other than buying them for eating.  Such as exploring caves.  Again, we have a lot of diseases that originated in animals and we got them by close exposure to live animals, and animals have a lot of diseases from exposure to live humans, and why not, humans are just an animal as well.  As long as viruses and bacteria etc. try to survive they will look for hosts and eventually find them or they cease to exist, just as we must find food or we cease to exist.
134578 tn?1602101550
Your statement "Chinese regularly eat pangolins" stuck with me, so I checked. Here's what I found in chinadialog.net: "Under China's Wild Animal Protection Law enacted in 1988, pangolins are listed as class two endangered wildlife, which means Chinese law prohibits the hunting, selling and buying of pangolins for cooking and food consumption." That doesn't mean someone in Wuhan wasn't selling pangolin under-the-table at that wet market that was either the start of the transmission or near it -- after all, we have protected-species laws here and some hunters sneak around them. But saying Chinese regularly eat pangolins makes it sound like the meat is widely available, legal, and affordable, and it just doesn't sound like it is.
1 Comments
I have no idea if Chinese eat pangolins widely or not.  I'm guessing most Chinese don't eat rare animals anymore than Americans do because they are also keenly aware of environmental issues.  But unfortunately, laws in China aren't like laws in European democracies or the US.  China has a public economy they tell us about and a private one they don't.  That's why it's a risk investing in a Chinese company -- they don't enforce their laws and so you can never really know for sure if what you're being told is the truth.  This is also true in the US and everywhere else, but we have journalists and investors and lawyers who eventually find this stuff out.  Eventually.  In China, you only know what the gov't wants you to know.  
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