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We don’t need to panic about a bird flu pandemic—yet



#dont #panic #hen #flu #pandemicyet

If the previous couple of years have taught us something, it’s that vigilance is essential. We do have to intently observe how viruses in animals are creating, and be ready to sort out a bounce to people. We don’t have to panic, although. Not but, anyway.

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We’ve been right here earlier than. Scientists had been attempting to work out how hen flu would possibly make the bounce to people again within the 2000s, as Emily Singer wrote

Shut monitoring of viruses’ ever-changing genomes has helped us navigate the covid-19 pandemic. It will likely be important for future public well being threats too, as Linda Nordling wrote last year.

It takes a very long time to make a flu vaccine. However the subsequent technology of mRNA vaccines may shield towards flu—together with a bunch of different viruses—and could possibly be whipped up in a fraction of the time it takes to make present vaccines, as I wrote last month.

New mutations that enable viruses to leap from animals to people can occur wherever, at any time. However that gained’t cease some individuals from insisting they’ve been concocted by scientists in a lab. Shi Zhengli, who has lengthy studied coronaviruses in bats on the Wuhan Institute of Virology, needed to cope with these accusations throughout the covid-19 pandemic. Jane Qiu covered her story final yr.

Tech Evaluation has been protecting pandemics since 1956. Apparently again then it was completely high-quality to write that “the individuals of this world have been molested by a protracted sequence of superior epidemics.”

From across the internet

Emergency companies are getting false misery calls from the iPhones and Apple Watches of skiers and health fanatics who’re very a lot alive and properly. (The New York Times)

Right here’s what US states are doing to abortion rights in 2023. Some are attempting to guard these rights, whereas others try to strip them additional away. (ProPublica)