Most people are familiar with the process of global warming that has been happening gradually to our planet for several years. But are you aware of everything this entails? It’s a lot more than warmer weather and some melting icebergs.
As the planet warms, bacteria and viruses that have been long dormant under thick layers of ice are waking up as the ice melts. This can lead to the release of diseases that can be harmful to humans. If that doesn’t sound terrifying, then keep reading for more details on what this could mean for the future of the human race.
Humans have lived side-by-side with bacteria and viruses for many years. For the past century, we have been in a bit of a stalemate in the battle against viruses.
Since the discovery of antibiotics, bacteria have slowly but gradually developed resistance against them, causing the battle to continue. But what happens when we are exposed to viruses that we haven’t seen for thousands of years (or never at all)?
As climate change continues to melt permafrost soil, ancient bacteria and viruses are being released into the environment.
In 2016, a 12-year-old-boy lost his life and 20 others were hospitalized after being infected with anthrax.
Presumably, a reindeer that was infected with anthrax 75 years ago died and its frozen carcass had been trapped under the ice. Then during a 2016 heatwave, the frost thawed.
When the reindeer’s corpse came into contact with water and soil, anthrax was released. This led 2,000 grazing reindeer to become infected, leading to the human cases.
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