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Why Do New Flu Pandemics Keep Popping Up?

It’s Not Just Bad Luck

Remember when we thought that was the only pandemic we have to deal with? So dumb of us to think like that!

Clearly, new pandemic influenza strains LOVE to crash of our plans. But seriously, what causes the sudden appearance of new pandemic influenza virus strains? 

Pandemic image

The Usual Suspects: Drift and Shift

Okay, let’s get into the science stuff for people like me who didn’t skip biology class. There are two main ways these viruses disguises themselves into :

Antigenic Drift : 

Consider as the virus slowly getting a new outfit. Mutations gradually change their appearance, that makes our past immune responses less effective. 

Antigenic Shift: 

Imagine a virus mixing and matching genes with another and creating a super-virus that our immune systems freak out about. 

But the question is , what causes the sudden appearance of a new pandemic influenza virus? Usually, the credit goes to an antigenic shift.

Should we blame it on the Birds (and Maybe Pigs)

Wait, wait , wait – why are we blaming birds? 

Turns out, wild birds are basically increasing the virus productions. 

They carry all sorts of influenza strains, and some of those can jump to humans. But the fact is, it’s after all nothing infront of what we humans did by interrupting the whole ecosystem and cutting down the forests. Somebody has to pay the price right?!

 Pigs can sometimes play a role too, acting as a middleman in the virus swap. 

FAQs Because the Internet Loves Them

Is this nature’s way of saying I should stay home and binge Netflix? 

 I mean, it’s tempting… but no. Viruses are gonna virus. But good hygiene and vaccines are our best defenses (and yes, even those annoying flu shots).

Can I blame my cancelled plans on the virus instead of admitting I hate parties? 

Absolutely. Your secret’s safe with me.

How much toilet paper should I stockpile this time? 

Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past. Keep all the necessary products a reasonable amount.

Honestly, even with all of the science, sometimes these pandemics feel like they appear out of thin air. 

I guess the best we can do is stay informed, get those annoying shots, and hope the next pandemic is at least mildly entertaining to watch on the news. Or, just bids us good bye as quickly as possible 

Let me know what you think!


You can also read : Disease X Pandemic

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