Viruses don’t just target humans . . . because apparently, CHOCOLATE is facing its own COVID-19-like pandemic right now.

A viral disease is ravaging the cacao trees in West Africa, where more than half the world’s chocolate originates.  This is in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

It’s called the “cacao swollen shoot virus disease” . . . or CSSVD . . . and it spreads thanks to the mealybugs that feed on the trees.

Once infected, the plant exhibits symptoms like . . . swelling of the stems and roots, red veins on immature leaves, and the cacao pod shrinking.  (It’s unclear if they lose their sense of smell and taste.)  (???)

Experts estimate that CSSVD caused harvest losses of 15% to 20% in Ghana.  Which may not seem like a lot, but they’ve lost “more than 254 MILLION cacao trees in recent years.”

Fighting the virus has been tough . . . mostly because the mealybugs have become highly resistant to pesticides.

But there is hope . . . thanks to vaccines.  Seriously.

Scientists have begun inoculating crops with CSSVD vaccines.  They do work . . . but the problem is they’re expensive, and many of these farmers are low-paid.

The main question you’re probably asking is:  Okay, so will this REALLY impact the availability of chocolate?  (Because I’m KINDA addicted.)

It’s hard to say . . . but the “New York Post” is sounding the alarm.  An expert says, “This virus is a real threat to the global supply of chocolate.”  And the “Post” says you might want to “stock up while you can.”

This isn’t the only issue:  The chocolate industry has already been dealing with supply chain disruptions . . . because climate change is causing poor harvests that have jacked up prices.  So, some of the companies that process cacao haven’t been able to afford the beans.

(New York Post / Sci News / PLOS One)