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The next pandemic – are we better prepared?

Posted by: The Conversation Global highlights

Date: Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Plus: what UK's next government might do in office ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

We’re all much twitchier about pandemics than we used to be. But is the international community better set up for the next major infectious disease emergency following COVID-19? This month the World Health Organization agreed a series of amendments to international health regulations, report Michael Baker, Professor of Public Health at the University of Otago, and Alexander Gillespie, Professor of Law, University of Waikato. But a range of proposed measures failed to make the cut.

Viral outbreaks certainly get a lot more coverage in the news media than was the case pre-COVID. But how do virologists react to reports of new diseases spreading? We asked Ed Hutchinson, at the University of Glasgow.

With voting in the UK’s general election now a little more than two weeks away, polling strongly indicates that the country is on course for a new government, led by the Labour party. Despina Alexiadou of the University of Strathclyde considers the manifesto put forward by its leader, Kier Starmer. And research by the School of Journalism at the University of Cardiff suggests that one of the country’s leading television political debate shows on the BBC leans firmly to the right when selecting guests from outside the parties. Matt Walsh, head of school, writes.

Stephen Khan

Global Executive Editor, The Conversation

Getty Images

Despite improved WHO regulations, the world remains ill-prepared for the next pandemic

Michael Baker, University of Otago; Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato

The world’s best chance of preventing the next pandemic lies in a global treaty. But deep divisions over funding and the sharing of vaccines and treatments have so far prevented an agreement.

Modern human DNA contains bits from all over the Neanderthal genome – except the Y chromosome. What happened?

Jenny Graves, La Trobe University

A mysterious century-old law of genetics may explain the puzzling genetic legacy of our extinct Neanderthal cousins.

What will UK Labour actually do in government? Manifesto clues point to a surprisingly radical agenda

Despina Alexiadou, University of Strathclyde

Comparing Keir Starmer’s 2024 election manifesto with Tony Blair’s 1997 document is a helpful way to understand why the vision is grander than is being portrayed.

 
 
 
 

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