Edinburgh scientists identify pandemic threat viruses

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have released a list of over 30 viruses that are the most likely candidates to cause the next major pandemic.

In a report published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases scientists Professor Mark E J Woolhouse, Liam Brierley, Chris McCaffery and Dr Sam Lycett detail the methodology used to identify the 37 viruses that should be most closely monitored as potential pandemic threats.

“Of human transmissible virus, 37 species have so far been restricted to self-limiting outbreaks. These viruses are priorities for surveillance because relatively minor changes in their epidemiologies can potentially lead to major changes in the threat they pose to public health. On the basis of comparisons across all recognized human viruses, we consider the characteristics of these priority viruses and assess the likelihood that they will further emerge in human populations.”

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