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Escaping Pandora’s Box – Another Novel Coronavirus

Published time: 26 February 2020

Authors: David M. Morens, Peter Daszak, Jeffery K. Taubenberger


The 1918 influenza pandemic was the deadliest event in human history (50 million or more deaths, equivalent in proportion to 200 million in today’s global population). For more than a century, it has stood as a benchmark against which all other pandemics and disease emergences have been measured. We should remember the 1918 pandemic as we deal with yet another infectious-disease emergency: the growing epidemic of novel coronavirus infectious disease (Covid-19), which is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This virus has been spreading throughout China for at least 2 months, has been exported to at least 36 other countries, and has been seeding more than two secondary cases for every primary case. The World Health Organization has declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. If public health efforts cannot control viral spread, we will soon be witnessing the birth of a fatal global pandemic.

Escaping Pandoras Box - Another Novel Coronavirus



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