Why new diseases keep appearing in China
Articles Blog

Why new diseases keep appearing in China

March 9, 2020


It was New Years Eve, 2019 when health officials
in China admitted they had a problem. Health authorities have activated their most serious response level. After an outbreak of a new type of viral pneumonia in central China. A rapidly growing number of people were developing
a dry cough and fever, before getting pneumonia. And for some, it turned fatal. Doctors have named the disease COVID-19 or
“coronavirus disease, 2019” indicating that a type of virus is causing the illness. When they’d tried to trace its origin, they
found a likely source: This food market in Wuhan. Out of the first 41 patients, 27 had been
here. It wasn’t conclusive evidence, but Chinese
officials quickly shut down the market. They had seen this happen before at a place
just like this. Health officials are trying to get a grip on an alarming outbreak of SARS. The virus originated in mainland China. Then spread across the country. The disease had been festering for months in southern China. In 2002, a coronavirus had emerged at a very
similar market, in southern China. It eventually reached
29 countries and killed nearly 800 people. Now, 18 years later, this coronavirus is in
at least 71 countries and has already killed over 3100 people. So, what do these markets have to do with
the coronavirus outbreak… and why is it happening in China? A lot of the viruses that make us sick, actually
originate in animals. Some of the viruses that cause the flu come
from birds and pigs. HIV/AIDS comes from chimpanzees. The deadly Ebola virus likely originates in
bats. And in the case of the 2019 coronavirus, there
is some evidence it went from a bat to a pangolin before infecting a human. While viruses are very good at jumping between
species, it’s rare for a deadly one to make this journey all the way to humans. That’s because it would need all these hosts
to encounter each other at some point. That’s where the Wuhan market comes in. It’s a wet-market. A kind of place where live animals are slaughtered
and sold for consumption. Peter Li is a professor and expert on China’s
animal trade. That’s exactly how a virus can jump from
one animal to another. If that animal then comes in contact with
or is consumed by a human, the virus could potentially infect them. And if the virus then spreads to other humans,
it causes an outbreak. Wet-markets are scattered all over the world,
but the ones in China are particularly well known because they offer a wide variety of
animals, including wildlife. This is a sample menu, reportedly from the
market in Wuhan. These animals are from all over the world
and each one has the potential to carry its own viruses to the market. The reason all these animals are in the same
market is because of a decision China’s government made decades ago. Back in the 1970s, China was falling apart. Famine had killed more than 36 million people. And the communist regime, which controlled
all food production, was failing to feed its more than 900 million people. In 1978, on the verge of collapse, the regime
gave up this control and allowed private farming. While large companies increasingly dominated
the production of popular foods like pork and poultry, some smaller farmers turned to
catching and raising wild animals as a way to sustain themselves. And since it started to feed and sustain people, the Chinese government backed it. But then in 1988, the government made a decision
that changed the shape of wildlife trade in China. They enacted the Wildlife Protection Law which
designated the animals as “resources owned by the state” and protected people engaged
in the “utilization of wildlife resources”. The law also “encouraged the domestication
and breeding of wildlife.” With that, an industry was born. Small local farms turned into industrial-sized
operations. For example, this bear farm started with just
three, and eventually grew to more than 1,000 bears. Bigger populations meant greater chances that
a sick animal could spread disease. Farmers were also raising a wide variety of
animals. Which meant more viruses on the farms. Nonetheless, these animals were funneled into
the wet-markets for profit. While this legal wildlife farming industry
started booming, it simultaneously provided cover for an illegal wildlife industry. Endangered animals like tigers, rhinoceroses,
and pangolins, were trafficked into China. By the early 2000s, these markets were teeming
with wild animals when the inevitable happened. The latest on the deadly SARS virus, the worldwide death toll up again today. China has reported more than 1,400 cases of infection nation-wide. It is what health officials have feared all along. In 2003, the SARS outbreak was traced to a
wet-market here, in southern China. Scientists found traces of the virus in farmed
civet cats. Chinese officials quickly shut down the markets
and banned wildlife farming. But a few months after the outbreak, the Chinese
government declared 54 species of wildlife animals, including civet cats, legal to farm
again. By 2004, the wildlife-farming industry was
worth an estimated $100 billion yuan. And it exerted significant influence over
the Chinese government. It’s because of this influence that the Chinese
government has allowed these markets to grow over the years. In 2016, for example, the government sanctioned
the farming of some endangered species like tigers, and pangolins. By 2018, the wildlife industry had grown to
148 billion yuan and had developed clever marketing tactics to keep the markets around. Yet, these products became popular with an
influential portion of China’s population: It’s this minority that the Chinese government
chose to favor over the safety of the rest of its population. Soon after the coronavirus outbreak,
the Chinese government shut down thousands of wet-markets and temporarily banned wildlife
trade again. Organizations around the world have been urging
China to make the ban permanent. Chinese social media, in particular, has been
flooded with petitions to ban it for good this time. In response, China is reportedly amending
the Wildlife Protection Law that encouraged wildlife farming decades ago. But unless these actions lead to a permanent
ban on wildlife farming, outbreaks like this one are bound to happen again. For a bunch more information about China’s wet-markets, viruses, and wildlife, we have an episode on our Netflix show called The Next Pandemic, explained. It talks about a coronavirus could spark the next pandemic and what the world’s experts are doing to stop it. That’s on our Netflix show ‘Explained’. Check it out.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Over on Vox.com we answered 11 of the biggest questions surrounding the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak: Is it safe to travel? How does coronavirus spread? Should I buy a face mask? Read them all here: http://bit.ly/3cHFSgT

    What other questions do you want to see answered? Submit them here: bit.ly/2xjbJEj

  2. Cuz they volunteered to be agenda21s test run. Depopulation full effect. Get right with the man upstairs.

  3. How many animals are slaughtered in America daily? Cause those meat Burgers and hot dogs don't grow on trees.

  4. Chinese over neighboring islands: Keeps reminding 9 dash lanes.

    Chinese after the pandemic over banning the Wild life protection law: SAY WHAT NOW?

  5. In my opinion eating sea turtles makes your back strong and swim better in the ocean.
    "Opinions of a mad man"

  6. This angers me so much! Because of the eating habits of a few, the world must now pay the price! Somebody needs to be held accountable for all these damages!

  7. When a politically correct young democratic channel like Vox name their video "Why new diseases keep appearing in China" you know its no longer a stereotype. Just dont go around saying in public you'll get into trouble.

  8. People need to watch this video 😔✊🏻 They think it's purely from Chinese people or let's say 'all asians'

  9. should’ve also mentioned how pumping these animals with antibiotics only makes these viruses evolve faster and become harder to fight, making them even more deadlier to humans

  10. This is such an irresponsible video. Shame on Vox for adding to the fear mongering and sinophobia by painting China as disease-ridden, irresponsible, and backwards. This is not okay, especially not in this current climate but y’all knew that.

  11. Wash your hands!!! I don’t care if you wash them so many times you run out of hand soap… keep doing it. You never know who may have it family freeing stranger or fast food restaurants etc…

  12. And ofc China and that Winnie the Pooh Leader want us to just continue like everything is normal, “nothing to see here” 😒

  13. Chinese gourmet guide 101

    If it has 4 legs and ain't a table: eat
    If it swims and ain't submarine: eat
    If it flies and ain't Boeing or Apache: eat

  14. Does anyone here believe that the young Chinese dictor, who died shortly after the outbreak, had underlying health conditions?

  15. This is karma for torturing dogs and cats and eating them . Keep pumping out babies just like Africa . Your country can't support so many people . This is the result of greed .

  16. Be vegetarian ..
    Know the medicine value of herbs and trees 🌱🌻🍀☘️🌳🍃🌿🍁🌲🌾🌹🌴🌵🌷🏵️🌺🌼🥀🙂🙏

  17. Because of China's carelessness, they are responsible for American deaths and others around the world. This should not go unanswered.

  18. Rumour says the virus might be from America. There was an intl soldier sport event took place before the outbreak. Ppl were generally puzzled why the result of American soldiers was so behind (ranked 35), they did worse than developing countries like Brazil and others. After the sport event, these American soldiers chose to stay at a hotel 500m away from the Wuhan market instead of returning home. Later they all fell ill and were hospitalised in Wuhan (before the outbreak) but were taken away immediately by the American army. Later ppl were told all these soldiers passed away but no reason was given. Now ppl are speculating these soldiers might be carrying virus from America to China with intention.

  19. Coronavirus is definitely not a new disease. If it was why is it on the back of the Lylol can? Evidently it's not new to be on the back of the Lysol Disinfectant Can.

  20. My mother wss right.
    She never let us eat in a Chinese restaurant, and avoided them.
    She took us to Chinatown, we noticed how filthy it was compared to the rest of the city, and looked in the back of a restaurant. She was right, they spit anywhere, swarm and invade, cough openly, stack garbage, and lack manners.

  21. Level 4 bio lab near by has nothing to do with the out brake…. nothing to see here folks go home CCP

  22. We have the same problem in Australia with powerful industry lobby groups controlling the government. Our mining industry and media moguls have actually removed our leaders and don't get me started on hunting and fishing political parties. The government is for the people but in every country regardless of their political system always seems to be controlled by large industries.

  23. “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel” -proverbs 12:10

  24. i don't think it's important to understand why but what, what to do and how to respond, when you keep pointing your finger to someone else, most people would just follow and make hateful reviews, they don't really care about how to save themselvers when things happened on them.

  25. It's easy to blame China. But the West moved all their manufacturing to China to make more money. Now we are tied to China and will keep suffering their pandemics.

  26. When I watch videos like this I don’t like ima throw up nothing affects me like Chinese markets with animals in cages getting killed and stuff I really don’t care

  27. As someone who is from China, it's great to see that this video addressed that the majority of Chinese people do not eat these wild animals. It is the elite that are perpetuating the popularity of these claims by eating these animals and claiming that it does wonders for your body. I hope China will now make a permanent law that will make eating and farming these wild animals illegal. Personally, it's extremely frustrating that some and a small number of Chinese people still believe the ludicrous benefits of eating exotic animals.

  28. I can guarantee you with 200% certainty that the Chinese government will never let their citizens watch this video

  29. There is a video on here talking about government officials in a meeting over 10 years ago talking and planning a biological attack on china saying "china is going to catch a cold" laughing and jokingly discussing the plan. It may seem far fetched but ive seen the video's and know that the government has done things like this in the past. If anything it would be even more secretive with the tech available these days. To not consider this would be foolish. Im not a fan of this guy but Neil De'grass-Tyson was on a talk show recently and was immediately asked "as a scientist what do you think about this covid-19?" and he responded with "I think…..The World is under a VERY BIG experiment right now and we will see what comes of it." Seems creepy to me. Just sayin'.

  30. It's amazing how xenophobic and insulting some of the comments are, I guess it says a lot about the people writing them. You see some obviously distressing things in the wildlife markets and assume a billion or so Chinese people are all equally lacking in compassion for animals. Let's not forget animal cruelty exists all over the world. When we see thousands of abandoned or stray pets on American streets, is it fair to assume all Americans are heartless and would abandon their pets in a heartbeat?

    Let's also remember that China is the workshop of the world. There are a lot of people on this Earth now, there are more of us alive now than have ever been born. When you have arguably the world's greatest industrial and trade hub, and have the greatest movement of people and goods in history, can we be surprised that something like CoVid 19 is happening? If not in China, then somewhere else? Would Americans, British or Italians be pleased if they were to be treated in the same way, like a disease? This is the cost of globalisation. The rest of the world is happy to buy what China makes and to take the money from Chinese tourists (who prop up the tourism industry all over the world) but too many people lack any compassion for fellow human beings bearing the brunt of the pandemic.

    God bless those who have compassion and rise above the bigotry and racism, above the small minded people. You're an example to follow.

  31. White people please don’t see all asians as Chinese, there are so many different countries who are not like china

  32. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) was bound to happen … Say No to China's wildlife farming industry … PROHIBIT WILDLIFE TRADE !!!

  33. Its not just china you say. Good to know these wet markets are not unique to China. Thank you for that little bit of info. I will use that fact to move forward.

  34. It is not about what people EAT, it is about what people are willing to BUY. Vegans need to just stop, this is about the poor attempting to lift themselves from poverty not about animal rights. Before moaning about the poor animals, how about providing an option to a billion plus Chinese to make a dollar, not all of them can make your iphone's and macbook's.

  35. Yes, China. It's because of you. The world does not and will not tolerate your over the top inhumane way you treat animals and people. Step up or step the f out.

  36. Man. The Chinese is that desperate, they ate everything just so they can survive, since it such a poor country, it the truth but is kinda sad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *