• Inevitable or Avoidable? How the Illegal Wildlife Trade Is Facilitating the Spread of Zoonotic Diseases and How the Next Pandemic Can Be Avoided

    Lauren Legner
    Michigan State Law Review
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    On February 1, 2020, Patricia Dowd called her brother to cancel plans to attend a funeral later in the week because she had fallen ill with what seemed like the flu.1 Only five days later, Dowd suddenly collapsed and died of what appeared to be a heart attack while standing in her kitchen.2 A subsequent flu test returned a negative result, baffling the coroner.3 Further test results confirmed that the otherwise healthy fifty-seven-year-old woman had been infected with a strain of the coronavirus, now coined Covid-19, demonstrating that it had made its way to the United States much earlier than previously thought.4 The virus had weakened Dowd’s heart muscle, ultimately causing it to rupture.5 Dowd had not recently traveled to China; thus, her death signified the start of community transmission and the beginning of a global pandemic.6 In November 2019, Covid-19 emerged in Wuhan, China.7 The focus of the virus moved to Europe in March 2020 before turning to the United States in April.8 On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared Covid-19 a pandemic.9 At the time, the virus had infected over 118,000 individuals and spread to over 110 countries and territories.10 As of January 2021, more than 93 million individuals have been infected and over 2 million have died worldwide.11 Over 22 million of those cases belong to the United States with nearly 400,000 deaths.12 Tens of thousands of new cases are being reported each day in the United States alone.13
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    10 months ago
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