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Spotting the next pandemic: prospecting or preparedness?

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IDPW06 - Future pandemics

Coivd-19’s arrival in the human population
was inevitable. There is a huge
diversity of viral pathogens circulating in bats and other small mammals. Three groups of people are exposed to them
through their livelihoods: traders in the wildlife trade, the miners and
loggers destroying tropical forests and those working in intensive
agriculture. The initial dynamics of
novel virus in these three groups of people and their families determine
whether novel viruses will spread into urban areas and from there to the rest
of the world.

This talk will fall into three sections:
(1) Initially I’ll discuss ways to estimate the diversity of viruses with
zoonotic potential and how this determines the risk they will spread from the
initial crossover hosts into the rest of the human population. (2) I’ll then briefly discuss some earlier
models for how forest destruction changes the risk of transmission of viruses
from forest species to those converting the forest or those living in the newly
converted agricultural matrix. (3) In
the final section, I’ll develop some economic approaches that compare the cost
of modifying the activities that increase risk of viral emergence with the
current estimated cost of the Covid19 pandemic.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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