Mark Woolhouse quoted by The Observer

CIIE's Mark Woolhouse quoted in The Observer's feature about emerging infectious diseases.
 
Alok Jha's feature follows scientists on the hunt for the next big pandemic.
It describes projects such as The Vizions, which collects blood samples from people at high risk of being subject to a spillover event (zoonotic pathogen making a jump from an animal to a person) across Vietnam. This high-risk cohort of 1,000 people, will be monitored every six months. The sampling teams also take blood and faecal swabs from pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and rats and anything else living nearby. The other part of the Vizions project is to enrol around 10,000 people over the next three years from those who turn up to hospitals with infections of the central nervous system, respiratory system, lower gut or jaundice. By cataloguing the viruses in their blood and other bodily fluids, researchers will build up a database of the kinds of things circulating in different parts of the country.
 
The article also mentions engineering of virus, citing Ron Fouchier's lab's experiments to mutate the H5N1 flu virus from its wild form into a modified form that can potentially transmit from one person to another.
 
Last but not least a question whether public health protocols can be improved to deal with potential new threats is raised.
 
Full article here
The Next Global Killer, the Radio 4 programme on the hunt for the next pandemic, will be broadcast at 8pm on 26 Novembe

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