Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

A comprehensive virus survey now could save billions in avoided health care costs later, experts say

Imagine if pandemics could be forecast by infectious disease scientists the way that bad weather can be tracked by meteorologists. New viruses would still infect people, but the cost of monitoring the emergence of those novel pathogens would be far less than the expense of dealing with a worldwide outbreak. At least that’s the reasoning behind a new study, published today in mBio, in which researchers propose launching a billion-dollar-plus global surveillance plan to find all the viruses lurking in mammalian wildlife before those same viruses find us. 


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