An eminent panel of disease detectives – including our PDPC Science Director prof. Marion Koopmans – spells out why the risks are increasing and most importantly, what we can do to predict, prepare and protect ourselves against potentially devastating new outbreaks.
Will the next infectious disease to wreak havoc across the globe again jump from animals, a zoonotic jump across species?
Think SARS, HIV, MERS, Zika, Nipah Virus, Lassa Fever, Ebola, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, Mpox and of course the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
The panel is unanimous in their plea for recognition that human health is inextricably linked to both animal health and the health of the environment. Without an understanding that we are part of an ecosystem and that climate change and the loss of biodiversity have a direct impact on epidemic and pandemic risk, we’ll struggle to keep ourselves safe they say.
BBC-reporter Claudia Hammond and vet-turned-virologist Marion Koopmans, Professor of Viroscience at Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands and head of the Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Centre are joined by Tulio de Oliveira, Professor of Bioinformatics, director of the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) in South Africa and Malik Peiris, Professor of Virology at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health.
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