From Episode 154 of Heart Health Radio: [Click here to listen now.]
Dr. Frank Wefald: Well, I’ve been to Wuhan. My mother was from Shanghai. Wuhan is…people don’t realize it’s actually a very important city. It’s on the biggest river called the Yangtze River. It’s were Chairman Mao liked to hang out in the summer time. One of the biggest things that ever happened in China, they never thought they would do it, is they built a bridge across the Yangtze River at Wuhan and that was the first bridge that ever…it’s a huge river, I’ve been there.
The reason why I’ve been there, Emilee if you’re listening, my daughter, we adopted her from China and she was born in Wuhan. I have been to the train station where her mother left her because she couldn’t take care of her any more. I have been to the markets. It’s the markets where they are selling for meat exotic animals.
They have traced it to the many-banded krait. OK, it’s a snake and it’s called Bungarus multicinctus…I don’t know it’s something like that. But people in China in particular think that eating exotic animals is either an aphrodisiac or helps with your long-term health. You know the rhinoceros are being killed off. Why? Because the Chinese love rhinoceros’ horn. They think it enhances, you know, your health. It’s a sad thing in many ways. I mean, Chinese medicine, there are some things coming out of China now that work. OK, these ancient herbs and whatever you call them.
But people want to eat these things. Civets. Do you know what a civet is? It’s like a wildcat. They love it, they love it. But this particular snake has never been in an inner city before.
And so, the Coronaviruses that are common in all sorts of animals, well this Coronavirus lived in a snake and these snakes weren’t meant to get to big cities and people would take these snakes home and they got the Coronavirus. And so, they’re trying to shut these markets down. You know, we went with my daughter to just see what these markets were like. I walked in and these beautiful dogs and cats and I thought, this is great, it’s a pet mart too. Uh-uh.
Dr. Frank Wefald: You pick the dog and they go in the back and it comes out in this wax paper. OK?
Dr. Frank Wefald: There were snakes. They also eat birds, these exotic birds. And so, you know, where’s St. Patrick now that we need him? You know, I mean we can’t do this. And so, Ebola also appears to come from interactions between wild animals and humans. And so, bird flu…OK think about it. Swine flu, we can get diseases from animals because they have the same genes that we do, the same types of respiratory functions. And so, their viruses may not have exposed themselves to us in the past. The next thing you know we get them and we can’t fight them because we don’t have the herd immunity, which we talked about the last time where certain people have had exposure to the virus and they become immune. And then it spread to the community in general. So, this is a bad thing.
Johns Hopkins University has set up a coronavirus outbreak map and it is here. Everyone outside the Chinese government suspects the official numbers are wrong, but this map at least tracks how far the virus has spread. The numbers below are outdated. Map is here.
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