FunScientists calculate the chances of another pandemic occurring

Scientists calculate the chances of another pandemic occurring

The Covid-19 pandemic broke out in early 2020, and has since wreaked havoc around the world. The number of cases globally amounts to 216 million, and 4.5 million people have died. The most affected countries are the United States, India, Brazil, Russia and France. Taking into account all that has happened, it is logical that one of the main questions that society asks itself is the possibility of a pandemic happening again .

Well, a team of scientists from Duke University have carried out a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). It is a statistical model that ensures the probability of a pandemic such as the coronavirus arising is much higher than any of us could imagine .

To carry out the study, scientists have taken into account outbreaks of diseases such as plague or cholera , which have been present on Earth for centuries.

According to this research, each year there is a 2% probability that a certain pathogen will spread around the world , in the same way that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus virus, has done. Professor William Pan, one of the authors of the study, indicates that someone born in the year 2000, that is, who is now 21 years old, has a 38% chance of experiencing a pandemic again.

Thaw and return of viruses and bacteria

Furthermore, the proportion may worsen in the coming decades due to the consequences of climate change . One of the main concerns of scientists is that the melting of glaciers may expose viruses and bacteria that have been frozen for thousands of years.

Without going any further, 15,000-year-old viruses were identified in the thaw in July 2021 . The findings, published in the journal Microbiome, will help experts understand how viruses have evolved over time.

In short, these data demonstrate how important it is to properly monitor infections , betting on the isolation and traceability of those infected as the main prevention tools to avoid a global pandemic as has happened with the coronavirus. In addition, experts call to investigate the reason why pandemics are becoming more frequent.

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