When, not if, the next pathogen is ready to go viral: understanding pathways to pathogen persistence, spillover and spread
When, not if, the next pathogen is ready to go viral: understanding pathways to pathogen persistence, spillover and spread.What started with a dead rat got a third of the European populations killed in the middle ages, the plague. Similarly, SARS-CoV-2 emerged from wildlife, before causing the COVID-19 pandemic. This is likely not the last pathogen to jump from animals to go ‘viral’ in the human population. Our high connectivity and dense human and animal populations make us vulnerable to such new viruses. At Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology, we use known pathogens as case-studies to better understand and quantify how pathogens get introduced and spread into new areas and populations. And importantly, how to improve response strategies against diseases emerging at the human-wildlife-livestock interface.