Scientists ‘prepare tools’ for bird flu pandemic

British scientists are building a new top-secret superlab in Porton Down with the aim of preparing for an eventual new pandemic.In this sense, they will be responsible for Vaccine prototype developed to tackle so-called ‘Disease X’they thought it might be H5N1 bird flu.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Disease X represents the knowledge that: Severe international epidemic likely caused by currently unknown pathogen cause human disease”.

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For decades, Bird flu most likely to spark next pandemic, scientists warn. Along these lines, they highlight the threat of recombination, as high levels of human influenza increase the risk of human infection with avian influenza.

It is currently experiencing the largest outbreak of bird flu in history, raising concerns that it could spread to humans if it mutates. While there is no evidence yet that bird flu can spread from person to person, experts are concerned that the virus, which has been detected in mammals, easily evolved to attack humans.

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That is why leading scientists working at the site have confirmed that it is the only one in the UK with the capacity to develop a vaccine from start to finish. The tools needed to transmit the ‘H5N1’ bird flu virus to humans are being prepared. Fewer than 900 human cases of H5N1 have been reported worldwide, but the mortality rate is about 50%.

“We’re preparing the tools we need for the virus to spread from person to person,” he said. this paragraph Dr Bassam Hallis is Deputy Director, Porton Down, UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). “We will absolutely step up our preparedness against H5N1. We have stepped up surveillance and tested people who may have been exposed to the virus. ’ added UKHSA Chief Scientific Officer Isabel Oliver.

Laboratory work and “100-day mission”

More than 200 scientists are working on more than 100 projects In a top-secret laboratory at Porton Down run by the British government. Its tasks include monitoring and developing vaccines against diseases such as tuberculosis and monkeypox. For example, the world’s first vaccine against Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, a virus transmitted through tick bites, is undergoing its first clinical trials at the centre.

The new facility will join the global ‘100 Days of Mission’ launched in 2021 during the UK’s G7 presidency.The idea is to do the scientific groundwork early, which should allow Effective vaccine developed within 100 days of new outbreakWhatever the pathogen.

“What we’re trying to do here is make sure we are ready“So if we have a new ‘disease X’, a new pathogen, we do most of the work as early as possible,” said UKHSA director Professor Dame Jenny Harries.

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Previous vaccines took five to ten years (to develop)For Covid, it’s not been 365 days, so 100 days is really an effort, but that’s what the Vaccine Center is designed to do,” Harris said. He also thinks the UK is “better prepared for another pandemic preparation”.

“We have to build and strengthen our capabilities during the pandemic. What we want to do now is maintain those capabilities, skills and experience,” Oliver said.But government resources are limited. We need to continue to work with external and academic partners to maintain the level of capacity we need,” he added.

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More than 200 scientists are working on more than 100 projects.

Thanks to advances in technology, The center can test 3,000 blood samples per week to monitor the spread of the virusHarris believes that if another pandemic is declared, it will have a huge impact on “decisions being made more quickly”. Beyond that, the researchers are optimistic about artificial intelligence (AI), as they believe it will help them “identify viral mutations and give us a faster way to repurpose antiviral drugs and therapies.”

On the other hand, scientists confirm that global migration is taking place As people and animals get closer, so do the threats. In addition, global warming creates the risk of vector-borne pathogens such as mosquitoes and ticks appearing in places never seen before, including in the UK.

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In this regard, Oliver said: “In recent decades, we have seen a large number of new infectious diseases. Nor suspect that a new epidemic will emerge in the near futureHe added: “We know that through scientific advances we can detect and contain these threats before they impact our lives.”

Health Secretary Steve Barclay said the center “strengthens the UK’s global standing through leadership in pandemic preparedness, vaccine development and scientific discovery”. “Hundreds of world-leading scientists are already at the center working on vaccines…to save lives around the world”he concluded.


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