Scientists find zombie viruses in Siberian permafrost: there is a threat of a new pandemic

By TravelWiseJan 28, 2024 07:20 AMNews
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Scientists have found zombie viruses in the permafrost of Siberia
Scientists have found zombie viruses in the permafrost of Siberia. Source: Freepik

Scientists have found zombie viruses in permafrost and are preparing for a new pandemic.

According to French virologists, ancient Siberian viruses could be released due to global warming and cause an outbreak of unknown diseases, The Guardian reports.

The strains of these "Methuselah germs" or zombie viruses, as they are also called, have already been identified by researchers who have expressed concern that a new global emergency could be triggered not by a disease new to science, but by a disease from the distant past.

As a result, scientists began to plan an Arctic monitoring network that would detect early cases of the disease caused by ancient microorganisms. In addition, it would provide quarantine and qualified medical care for infected people to contain the outbreak and prevent infected people from leaving the region.

Scientists find zombie viruses in Siberian permafrost: there is a threat of a new pandemic
Computer-generated image of Pithovirus sibericum isolated from a 30,000-year-old permafrost sample in 2014. Source: Jean-Michel Clavery/IGS/CNRS-AM

"Currently, the analysis of pandemic threats is focused on diseases that could emerge in the southern regions and then spread north," says geneticist Jean-Michel Clavery of the University of Marseille.

In his opinion, so far little attention has been paid to an outbreak that could originate in the far north and then spread to the south.

"The decisive point about permafrost is that it is cold, dark and oxygen-free, so it is ideal for preserving biological material," Clavery said.

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