Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Next Big One, Tonight with David Quammen

"By the Next Big One, I mean a murderous pandemic that sweeps around the planet, killing millions of people, as the so-called 'Spanish' influenza did in 1918-19, as AIDS has been doing in slower motion, and as SARS might have done in 2003 if it hadn’t been stopped by fast science, rigorous measures of public health, and luck. Experts I’ve interviewed over the past six years generally agree that such a Next Big One is not only possible but probable.... From where will the Next Big One emerge? Answer, as I’ve noted: Most likely from wildlife. It will be a zoonosis — an animal infection that spills over into humans."

Read more in Yale Environment 360:
Quammen visits today at 4:15 and 8PM in the UAlbany Campus Center:

Photo from the 1918 flu pandemic.