Next pandemic likely to be triggered by flu - scientists

April 20, 2024  18:36

Leading scientists believe that influenza is the pathogen most likely to trigger a new pandemic in the near future, The Guardian writes.

An international poll found that 57 per cent of leading disease experts now believe that a strain of influenza virus will cause the next global outbreak of deadly infectious diseases.

The view that influenza poses the world's most serious pandemic threat is based on long-term research showing that it is constantly evolving and mutating, said researcher John Salmanton-Garcia of the University of Cologne, who conducted the study.

Details of the study, which involved a total of 187 leading scientists, will be released at the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) congress in Barcelona.

According to 21 per cent of the experts who took part in the study, the next most likely cause of a pandemic after influenza is likely to be a virus called "Disease X", which is still unknown to science. They believe the next pandemic will be caused by an as yet unidentified microorganism that will appear as a thunderclap, similar to the Sars-CoV-2 virus that caused Covid-19 when it began infecting people in 2019.

Indeed, some scientists still believe that Sars-CoV-2 remains a threat, with 15 per cent of scientists surveyed believing it to be the most likely cause of a pandemic in the near future.

Follow Medicine on Facebook and Twitter

  • Video
  • Event calendar
  • Archive