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Next pandemic likely to be caused by flu virus, scientists warn

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Prominent experts believe Influenza is the pathogen most likely to start a new pandemic soon.

An international poll, scheduled for publication this coming weekend, will disclose that 57% of prominent disease experts now believe that the next global outbreak of deadly infectious sickness will be caused by a strain of the flu virus, according to British Media.

As per Cologne University’s Jon Salmanton-García, the study’s author, long-term research indicates that Influenza is continually changing and evolving, supporting the theory that it poses the biggest pandemic threat to the world.

“Each winter Influenza appears,” he said. “You could describe these outbreaks as little pandemics. They are more or less controlled because the different strains that cause them are not virulent enough – but that will not necessarily be the case forever.”

The survey’s specifics, which were contributed to by 187 prominent scientists in total, will be made public during the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) convention in Barcelona the following weekend.

According to 21% of the experts involved in the study, a virus known as Disease X that is currently unknown to science is possibly the second most likely source of a pandemic, after Influenza. According to them, the next pandemic will be brought on by an unidentified microorganism that will emerge out of nowhere, just like the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which caused COVID-19, did when it first infected people in 2019.

In fact, 15% of the experts surveyed in the study said that Sars-CoV-2 is still a concern and might potentially spark a pandemic in the near future.

Just 1% to 2% of respondents considered Lassa, Nipah, Ebola, and Zika viruses to be severe global concerns, among other deadly microorganisms.

“Influenza remained – by a very large degree, the number one threat in terms of its pandemic potential in the eyes of a large majority of world scientists,” added Salmanton-García.

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