Spain Current Affairs - 2020

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IUCN adds 1840 new species to the Red List of Threatened Species

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added about 1,840 new species to its updated “Red List of Threatened Species”, a catalogue of plants and animals that risk extinction. The list now contains over 30,000 species under threat of disappearing. The group released its Red List update in the middle of COP25 climate talks in Madrid, Spain. The year 2020 will see two global IUCN gatherings, first in June in Marseille, France and another in Kunming, China, in October.

Key Findings of IUCN List

IUCN finds that hundreds of plant and animal species who already face the threat of habitat destruction, are now under further pressure from manmade climate change.

IUCN had earlier witnessed a genuine declines in 73 species since its last assessment. This new update reveals the ever-increasing impacts of human activities on wildlife. Moreover, the Climate change is adding to multiple threats species face, and there is a to act urgently and decisively to curb the crisis.

More than 1 million species are now at risk of vanishing as insatiable human demand puts them in danger of overexploitation, habitat loss, pollution and climate change.

Fish: Rising temperatures have already contributed to declines of several freshwater fish and sharks. Latest update showed that 37% of Australia’s freshwater fish species were threatened with extinction. Stocks of Short-tail nurse shark have declined around 80% in last 30 years, as its shallow water habitat is being degraded because of ocean warming.

Bird: Dozens of species of birds and plants are now also threatened by rising temperatures. However, IUCN also highlighted a small handful of conservation successes, including the recovery of Guam Rail, a bird previously listed as extinct in wild.

About International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

It is an international organization that works in field of conservation of nature and sustainable use of natural resources. This membership Union is composed of both government and civil society organisations. It has more than 1,300 Member organisations and over 15,000 experts, this diversity and vast expertise makes IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and measures needed to safeguard it. IUCN is best known for its compiling and publishing of IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which assesses the conservation status of species worldwide.

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First case of sexually transmitted Dengue confirmed in Spain

A case concerning a 41-yearold man from Madrid, Spain spreading dengue through sexual contact was confirmed by Spanish health authorities. This is the world first ever instance to be reported of the dengue virus spreading through sexual contact which until recently was thought to be transmitted only by mosquitoes.

Case Highlights

The man concerned in this case contracted dengue after having sex with his male partner who picked up the virus from a mosquito bite during a trip to Cuba and the Dominican Republic. His dengue infection was confirmed in September 2019 and it puzzled doctors because he had not travelled to a country or not even resided in an area which was known to have reported cases of fever before.

However since his partner presented the same symptoms as him and had previously visited Cuba, the analysis of their sperm carried out by health authorities revealed that not only did both of them have dengue but it was exactly the same dengue virus which circulates in Cuba.

Later, the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), an European Union (EU) agency which monitors health and disease in Europe, notified that to their knowledge, this is the first sexual transmission of the dengue virus.

About Dengue fever

It is caused by one of the five serotypes or strains of the dengue virus. Until now the virus has only been known to be transmitted to humans via the bite of an infected mosquito.

Vector: Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Incubation Period: following exposure to virus is anywhere between 3 to 5 days.

Most Common Symptoms: high-grade fever, joint pain, muscle pain and general fatigue.

There is no vaccine against the virus, as a result of which treatment is largely based on controlling symptoms an individual has.

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