Continued horizon scanning necessary to stop new pandemics

Published by  News Archive

On 30th Jun 2020

pigs at farm

A UEA expert in emerging zoonotic disease has called for ‘continued horizon scanning’ after a new strain of flu with the potential to become a pandemic has been identified in China by scientists.

New research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that the new strain of flu is carried by pigs, but can infect humans – sparking concern that it could mutate further and trigger a global outbreak.

Prof Diana Bell, from UEA’s School of Biological Sciences is an expert in emerging zoonotic disease, including the animal origins of Sars and Covid-19.

She said: “These are very important findings published by Chinese scientists and highlight the need for continued horizon scanning for other zoonotic pathogens during a global pandemic caused by another.

“Pig rearing occurs on a massive scale in China, as does poultry farming which resulted in H5N1 immediately after SARS.

“This paper indicates that close monitoring of both pigs and farm workers in close contact with them is in place which is essential to containment of risks associated with this novel flu virus.”

Prof Bell has previously said that crucial lessons were not learned from the Sars outbreak of 2003-4 – leading to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Study biology at UEA

More world-leading research

Latest News

  News
04 Dec 2020

Household-grown food leads to improved health for children

Children grow taller in rural households where their mothers are supported to grow their own food – according to new research from the University of East Anglia...

Read more >
  News
03 Dec 2020

UEA academic honoured for outstanding contribution to Antarctic science

A researcher at the University of East Anglia (UEA) has been recognised for making an outstanding contribution to Antarctic science by having a glacier named...

Read more >
  News
Sir David Attenborough and HRH Prince William
01 Dec 2020

UEA urging community to submit their Earthshots for chance of £1m prize

It’s the most prestigious environmental award in history and UEA is one of a handful of UK universities who can submit entries. So if you have a ready-made...

Read more >
  News
Open book in a library
30 Nov 2020

UEA launches scholarships for international writers

The University of East Anglia (UEA) has introduced two new fully-funded annual scholarships for its prestigious Creative Writing MA programme: The Sonny Mehta...

Read more >
Are you searching for something?
  News
Open book in a library
30 Nov 2020

UEA launches scholarships for international writers

The University of East Anglia (UEA) has introduced two new fully-funded annual scholarships for its prestigious Creative Writing MA programme: The Sonny Mehta...

Read more >
  News
30 Nov 2020

Study reveals unintended impact of conservation policies

New research involving the University of East Anglia (UEA) shows how conservation polices can avoid having unintended consequences for local ecosystems and people.

Read more >
  News
30 Nov 2020

Wuhan mass screening identifies hundreds of asymptomatic cases

A mass screening programme of more than 10 million Wuhan residents identified 300 asymptomatic cases, but none were infectious – according to a study involving...

Read more >
  News
28 Nov 2020

How ‘smell training’ could help overcome post-viral smell distortions

If you’ve been experiencing odour distortions after Covid-19, then ‘smell training’ could help you start smelling normally again – according to new research...

Read more >
  News
 Dr Sheng Qi and Dr Laura Lehtovirta-Morley
30 Nov 2020

UEA joins national campaign to boost number of women in science and engineering

Leading female academics welcome University’s membership of a national women in science network.

Read more >
  News
30 Nov 2020

COVID-19: Rapid testing launched to allow UEA students to return home safely for winter break 

Government-led COVID-19 testing for those who don’t have symptoms of the virus has begun at the University of East Anglia (UEA) to allow students to safely...

Read more >
  News
26 Nov 2020

Half hour of exercise offsets risks caused by sitting

Half an hour to 40 minutes of daily exercise could offset the dangers of increasingly sedentary lifestyles – according to new World Health Organization...

Read more >