February 25, 2024

Scientists have warned about the possibility of a new pandemic caused by a virus that has been frozen for 30,000 years in the Arctic. The virus, known as ‘zombie virus’ or Pithovirus sibericum, may be released as a result of global warming and increasing shipping activity in Siberia. Researchers have isolated strains of the virus and are planning a surveillance network in the Arctic to identify and provide treatment for any outbreaks. The permafrost, where the virus is frozen, covers a fifth of the northern hemisphere and is starting to melt due to climate change, which could release other pathogens. There are concerns that the disappearance of Arctic sea ice and increase in shipping and industrial activity in Siberia could release other pathogens that could cause new diseases. The melting permafrost may also release viruses that have been frozen for millions of years and to which our immune system has not been exposed. As a result, plans for quarantine and medical treatment are being developed by various entities.

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