(ORDO NEWS) — Around 200 scientists are busy developing a vaccine for a disease that could potentially cause a new pandemic at the Porton Down State Laboratory complex in Wiltshire.
This is reported by ITC.
Researchers have compiled a list of dangerous animal viruses that can infect people and spread widely around the world in the future – however, which of them will cause a pandemic is currently unknown, so the potential infection is called “Disease X”.
The Vaccine Development and Evaluation Center at Porton Down has been specially expanded to work on countering Disease X, having previously focused exclusively on COVID and testing the effectiveness of vaccines against its new variants.
Scientists are currently involved in monitoring several high-risk pathogens, including bird flu, monkeypox and hantavirus, a disease spread by rodents.
One of the successful results is the development of a vaccine against Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CHF), a tick-borne disease with a 30% fatality rate. Early clinical trials have just begun and 24 volunteers are expected to try the vaccine.
The disease is now becoming more common in Europe as global temperatures rise and some travelers have brought the infection to the UK.
The UK has focused on pandemic preparedness amid the first public hearings of the Covid-19 inquiry held earlier this summer. Governments have been accused of focusing on preparing for pandemic influenza rather than other types of pathogens.
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