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Scientists warn that future epidemics may be more deadly and contagious

Scientists warn that future epidemics may be more deadly and contagious

“Just as we invest in the armed forces, secret services, and diplomacy to defend against wars, we must invest in people, research, manufacturing, and institutions to defend against epidemics.”, says Sarah Gilbert, one of those responsible for developing the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, adapted in Britain Watchman.

In early 2020, as Covid-19 first appeared in China and the disease escalated further, Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, and her team devised one of the vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.

Currently, the scientist says that the disease is not over yet, and the highly mutated Omicron variant is unlikely to be the last.

“This will not be the last time a virus threatens our lives and livelihoods. The truth is that the next virus could be worse. It could be more contagious, or more deadly, or both.”, the researcher insists.

“We cannot allow a situation where we have gone through everything we have been through and then discover the enormous economic losses we have suffered. It means that there is still no funding for pandemic preparedness.”Gilbert adds.

“The progress we have made and the knowledge we have gained You must not get lost,” warns the researcher, stressing continued investment in science.

The public comments come after the United Kingdom reported, on Sunday, 246 cases of Omicron and nearly 44,000 new infections per day, with 54 people dying each day.

This protein was detected in the Omicron . variant escalate It contains known mutations responsible for increased transmission of the virus, Gilbert said. “But additional changes could mean that antibodies induced by vaccines, or infection with other strains, may be less effective in preventing omicron infection. Until we know more, we must be vigilant and take steps to slow” the spread, he added. of this new alternative.

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Mark Woolhouse, a scientist who advises the government of Boris Johnson, quotes the BBC:If current trends here and in South Africa continue in the coming weeks and months, the new Ómicron could replace the Delta as the world’s dominant breed. “.

Over the weekend, Boris Johnson’s government announced that anyone traveling to the UK should be tested for Covid-19 at the departure site. Nigeria was added to the red list of countries with potential to import Omicron, as it is linked to new cases of the variant on British soil.

“If Omicron is here in the UK – and it certainly is – if there is community broadcasting in the UK – and it certainly appears to be – then it is community broadcasting that is going to lead the next wave,” Woolhouse said.

The scientist says the new restrictions are too late and too shy to deal with a “potential wave of the Omicron variant in the UK”.

according to guardianThe large proportion of new cases is generally associated with unvaccinated patients and action leader Keir Starmer, drawing on this information, is highly critical of those who resist vaccination: “It is frustrating and troubling that clinicians are seeing so many hospital beds and NHS resources for use by those who are resistant to vaccination. They chose not to receive the vaccine.”