We don’t need to panic about bird flu just yet.

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If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that vigilance is key. We need to closely monitor how viruses develop in animals and be prepared to deal with the jump to humans. No need to panic though. Not yet, anyway.

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We’ve been here before. As Emily Singer writes, scientists In the 2000s, they were trying to figure out how bird flu spreads to humans.

Close monitoring of the ever-changing genomes of viruses has helped us navigate the Covid-19 pandemic. As Linda Nordling wrote last year, it is also important for future public health concerns.

The flu vaccine takes a long time to work. But next-generation mRNA vaccines could protect against the flu — along with many other viruses — and, as I wrote last month, could be a fraction of the time it takes to develop existing vaccines.

New mutations that allow viruses to jump from animals to humans can occur anywhere at any time. But that doesn’t stop some people from being called scientists in the lab. Shi Zhenli, who has long studied the coronavirus in bats at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, had to deal with these charges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jane Q covered her story last year.

Tech Review has been covering outbreaks since 1956. At the time, he wrote, “The people of this world are subject to a series of terrible plagues.”

From around the web

Emergency services are getting fake distress calls from iPhones and Apple Watches. Skiers and fitness enthusiasts who are very much alive and well. (The New York Times)

In the year Here’s what US states are doing with abortion rights in 2023. Some are trying to protect these rights, while others are trying to take them away. (ProPublica)

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