• PANDEMICSWhen Will COVID-19 Become Endemic?

    By Claire Klobucista

    Government leaders are optimistic that COVID-19 is becoming endemic, meaning more predictable and manageable. But many scientists say it’s too soon to behave like the pandemic is over.

  • PANDEMICSWhat Have We Learned from COVID-19? Apparently Not Much

    By Pandora Report

    Even if it were true that COVID-19 is no longer a major part of our lives, the fact still remains that these numbers are as high as they are because of how poorly the US responded to the pandemic. This boom and bust funding cycle clearly does not work for public health.

  • BIOTHREATSA Growing Threat: Deliberate, Simultaneous Release of Pandemic Viruses Across Travel Hubs

    COVID-19 demonstrated how the world is clearly vulnerable to the introduction of a single pandemic virus with a comparatively low case fatality rate. The deliberate and simultaneous release of many pandemic viruses across travel hubs could threaten the stability of civilization. Current trends suggest that within a decade, tens of thousands of skilled individuals will be able to access the information required for them single-handedly to cause new pandemics.

  • COVIDHow to End COVID-19 as a Public Health Threat

    Over 350 multidisciplinary experts from more than 100 countries reach consensus: A new global COVID-19 study provides actionable recommendations to end the public health threat without exacerbating socio-economic burdens or putting the most vulnerable at greater risk.

  • PLAGUESWhat Plagues of the Past Have to Tell Us About Current Crises

    One expert says that event system theory (EST) helps us understand Albert Camus’s classic 1947 novel The Plague; the Black Death of the 14th century and the lethal waves that followed; and societal response to disruptions like COVID. EST reframes societal disruptions from isolated events to being the result of slowly unfolding chains of connected events.

  • BIOSAFETYBolstering Biosafety Education to Address Biosecurity Professionals Shortfalls

    Many countries face an severe shortages of biosafety and biosecurity professionals. To address these shortages, experts call for a multisectoral effort toward a future sustainable workforce by formalizing a biosafety & biosecurity career path within the higher education system.

  • COVID ORIGINSDebate Over COVID Origins Continues

    Late last week, ProPublica published an article claiming to have unveiled new information from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) supporting the lab leak theory of COVID-19’s origin. Now, the piece some have described as a train wreck is being heavily criticized for having faulty translations, mis-matched dates, misrepresenting the sources of the documents discussed in it, not understanding how common VPN usage is in China-related research, and more.

  • COVID ORIGINSSenate Panel Minority Staff Report Argues for Lab-Leak Theory of COVID Origins

    The Republican minority staff of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee earlier this week issued a 35-page report contending that “SARS-CoV-2 and the resulting COVID-19 global pandemic was, more likely than not, the result of a research-related incident associated with coronavirus research in Wuhan, China.” The report has failed to win over prominent supporters of the lab leak theory, including Rutgers University’s Dr. Richard Ebright, who said that “there was no information in the report that has not been publicly presented in the media and discussed in the media previously.”

  • COVID ORIGINSCoronavirus Origins: The Debate Flares Up, but the Evidence Remains Weak

    By Francois Balloux

    A recent, not-yet-peer-reviewed, study claims to have identified possibly unusual sequence patterns in the SARS-CoV-2 genome which may indicate that the virus was genetically modified in a lab. The study has been poorly received by most experts in the field. The evidence reported in the study is neither conclusive nor final, and the findings may turn out to be a fluke, or generated by a flaw in the method, as the study’s authors concede. This study and its reception remind us that it would be unwise to suppress a discussion of the lab leak theory by arguing that such a discussion has fueled conspiracy theories. A confirmation of an accidental lab leak – if such a leak has indeed occurred – would be less damaging than a confirmation of a lab leak whose evidence has been aggressively suppressed.

  • EPIDEMICSA One Health Approach to Preparedness and Prevention

    COVID-19 is the latest zoonotic RNA virus epidemic of concern. Learning how it began and spread will help to determine how to reduce the risk of future events.

  • COASTAL CHALLENGESHurricane Ian Shows That Coastal Hospitals Aren’t Ready for Climate Change

    By Daniel Chang and Lauren Sausser

    As rapidly intensifying storms and rising sea levels threaten coastal cities from Texas to the tip of Maine, Hurricane Ian has just demonstrated what researchers have warned: Hundreds of hospitals in the U.S. are not ready for climate change.

  • CLIMATE CHALLENGESExtreme Heat Could Make Parts of Asia, Africa Uninhabitable

    Extreme heat events foreshadow a less habitable world. In the coming decades, heatwaves are predicted to meet and exceed human physiological and social limits in regions such as the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and South and South-West Asia.

  • EBOLAAs Ebola Spreads in Uganda, U.S. Imposes Traveler Screening

    The Biden administration announced last week that all travelers entering the United States from Uganda will be redirected to airports where they can be screened for Ebola virus disease (EVD). Ebola detection is not straightforward, as symptoms can lay dormant for two to 21 days, and during that time, the disease wouldn’t show up on a blood test, let alone a thermometer.

  • POLIO RETURNSTraces of the Polio Virus found in Several New York State Counties

    Polio was declared eradicated in the United States in 1979. In the summer, the first case of polio was discovered in New York, and an examination of the wastewater in several NY counties found traces of the virus which were genetically related to the virus which infected the polio patient in the summer.

  • STORM SURGESHundreds of Hospitals on Atlantic and Gulf Coasts at Risk of Flooding from Hurricanes

    Researchers identified 682 acute care hospitals in 78 metropolitan statistical areas located within 10 miles of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States, covering a population just under 85 million people, or about 1 in 4 Americans. They found that 25 of the 78 metro areas studied have half or more of their hospitals at risk of flooding from a Category 2 storm.