Centre for Comparative Genomics Lecture

LECTURE: The Next big One: Ebola, MERS, and the New Age of Emerging Viruses

SPEAKER: David Quammen, author and journalist

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has made for lurid, saddening headlines this year, and reports from the region have grown only more alarming in recent months.  Last year, evoking quieter but no less serious concern, it was the MERS virus coming out of Saudi Arabia. 
Before that, we heard about bird flu and West Nile and Hanta and SARS and a steady drumbeat of scary new viruses, emerging suddenly to cause misery, death, and in some cases epidemics of global concern.  But emerging—from where?  These new viruses share one thing in common: They are all zoonoses, meaning animal infections that sometimes spill over into humans.  In which animals do they live their secret lives?  Why do they sometimes cross into humans?  And what are the chances that the next one, or the one after, will cause a global pandemic?


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