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How scientists are identifying ways to prevent the next pandemic

Source(s):  The Wire


Following several multidisciplinary studies in 2020, scientists now firmly believe a “perfect storm” for an outbreak with pandemic potential is created by the combined forces of land-use change, high population density and the presence of interfaces between wildlife and domestic animals.


Instead of spending money to curb outbreaks once they occurred, “we could invest in reforestation and in trying to change the way we interact with wildlife, and alter our level of land-use change”, Ruiz said.


According to Ruiz, detecting or classifying every single pathogen in the world’s wildlife would be close to impossible, but new methods using machine learning algorithms can be used to generate a catalogue of pathogens from which the animal host and place where the next outbreak may happen could be predicted.


Ruiz believes some parts of India are potential hotspots “not because lots of viruses are circulating there but because these have high rates of land-use change and these are also places with high-density of human populations.”


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  • Publication date 05 Jan 2021

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