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The Next Pandemic: Is a Deadlier Virus on the Horizon?: W5


Catalogue Number:  CTV887
Producer:  CTV
Subject:  Agriculture, Canadian Social Issues, Canadian Social Studies, Canadian World Studies, Consumer Studies, Criminal Justice & Law, Current Events, Documentary, Environmental Studies, Global Issues, Health and Medicine, Science, Social Issues, Social Sciences, Social Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  6 - 8, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2021
Running Time:  21:28


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Experts warn that the next pandemic could be much worse than COVID-19. Swine flu in 2009, a combination of viruses from animals and humans infected more than 60 million people. The Spanish Flu, SARS, Nipha, and the deadly Ebola all originated in birds or animals. When animals are commercially farmed, a virus can spread rapidly, increasing the likelihood it will spread to humans. About 75% of new infectious diseases are zoonotic, causing millions of deaths every year.

By late 2021 COVID-19 has infected more than 200,000 million people and killed more than 4.5 million people worldwide. COVID-19 has now mutated hundreds of times, but the Delta variant has spread more quickly than any previous variant. American virologist Angela Rasmussen is joining a new ground-breaking lab in Saskatchewan with containment that will allow safe study of new pathogens and help build new vaccine technologies for animals and humans.

Epidemiologist Rob Wallace has been warning for years about the dangers of raising animals in highly concentrated industrial farm conditions. Scientists are investigating possible links to COVID-19 from large Wuhan commercial pig farms; similar links are found in Brazil, Germany, and the northeastern US. Factory farming relies on antibiotics, fuelling antibiotic resistance. Animal welfare activists are hoping to motivate change in farming practices. We need to think about how we deal with our environment and the environment we create for the animals we consume.


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