Spillover: We Failed To Stop SARS-CoV-2. How Do We Find Next 'Big One'?

"In movies such as Contagion, a pandemic begins in a flash. A deadly virus spills over from an animal, like a pig, into humans and then quickly triggers an outbreak.

But that's not actually what happens, says Dr. Gregory Gray at the Duke Global Health Institute. "It's not like in the movies," he says, "where this virus goes from a pig in Indonesia and causes a pandemic."

Over the past few decades, the U.S. government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars hunting down new viruses in animals, largely wild animals, in hopes of stopping a pandemic. And yet those efforts failed to find – and stop — SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, before it spread around the world.

Now, writing in the journal Viruses, Gray and his colleagues propose an alternative approach to hunting down new viruses, which, they believe, will have a better chance of stopping the next pandemic."

Michaeleen Doucleff reports for NPR April 20, 2021.

Source: NPR, 04/21/2021