Virus Awakening: Global Warming Breeds New Viruses That Are Difficult to Kill

Global Warming Breeds New Viruses That Are Difficult to Kill

Global warming threatens humanity with the development of new viruses that will be difficult to destroy. Enteroviruses and a number of pathogenic viruses that enter the surface waters can be inactivated by heat, sun and other microbes, thereby reducing the ability to spread disease. However, the team of scientists recognized that global warming could manifest itself in such a way that viruses become immune to these natural disinfectants and, for example, chlorine.

The enteroviruses are dangerous in that they can cause mild illnesses, such as the common cold, and serious ones, such as polio. With faeces, they can enter the environment from waste water and other sources.

And their subsequent spread may depend on their ability to withstand the external environment and the conditions they face. The scientists predict that the climate change will change these conditions, and then viruses will be able to adapt to them, increasing their resistance to disinfection.

A team of scientists created four different populations of the human enterovirus. Their samples were incubated in open-source water in flasks at a certain temperature. In some cases, imitation of sunlight was created. In some, that imitation was not.

Then the flasks with viruses were exposed to heat and their adaptation to warm water was found out. In the degree of inactivation, no difference was observed when exposed to the sun or other microbes.

By transplanting the viruses into cool water, the scientists found that they stayed active longer than those viruses that were better adapted to cold water. The increased resistance lasted for a long time, and the state of the viruses was defined as contagious, that is, dangerous to humans.