Reducing tropical deforestation and limiting wildlife trade could be an important way to reduce the likelihood of pandemics, according to a new analysis .
About once every two years, a virus jumps from animals to humans, including SARS, Ebola, and probably the new coronavirus as well.
Fighting deforestation, monitoring farm animals and limiting wildlife trade reduced pandemics, some biologists argue.
Such interventions would cost approximately $ 20 billion to $ 30 billion a year, according to an analysis published in Science on July 24, 2020.
This cost, while significant, pales in comparison to the estimated global cost of COVID-19, which exceeds $ 5 trillion in gross domestic product lost this year in the United States alone .
The following table shows a breakdown of the estimated annual costs of various measures to reduce the probability of contagion events, in which animal viruses jump to humans, against the global gross domestic product lost this year from the COVID-19 pandemic. .
- Global GDP drop in 2020 since COVID-19: 5.6 trillion
- The maximum total prevention: 31,000 million
- Ending China’s bushmeat trade: $ 19 billion
- Cut deforestation in half: 9.5 billion
- Livestock spill: 852 million
- Wildlife spill: 340 million
- Early detection of disease: 279 million
- Monitor wildlife trade: 50 million
To justify those costs, the interventions would have to reduce the chance of a pandemic by 27 percent in a given year , according to the analysis.