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Cryptic Mole

One Million Viruses That We Know Absolutely Nothing About

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 Cryptic Mole    4,028

There are more than 1 million viruses that we know absolutely nothing about:

One by one, the viruses have slipped from their hiding places in nature to threaten global populations — SARS, MERS, Zika.

In each case, scientists have scrambled to identify the viruses and to develop vaccines or drugs to stop their spread. After each crisis, the assessment has been the same: Countermeasures were not ready in time to help in the containment effort.

"Always too late," said Jonna Mazet, a scientist at the University of California, Davis, who is keen to break the bugs' winning streak. "We need to think about something different."

Mazet is a key player in an ambitious endeavor called the Global Virome Project, which has proposed cataloguing nearly all of the unknown viruses lurking in nature around the world. In a nutshell, Mazet and other experts want to search out mystery threats before they find us.

The idea has been around for a while and is supported by individual scientists and organizations including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, HealthMap, ProMED, and the epidemic risk firm Metabiota.

Now support for a global push may be picking up momentum, as scientists and health organizations find themselves repeatedly called upon whenever new threats arise.

Read More: https://theweek.com/articles/667704/there-are-more-than-1-million-viruses-that-know-absolutely-nothing-about

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