'Zombie' virus, after remaining frozen 48,500 years in Arctic, may cause a deadly pandemic, warn scientists

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Jan 23, 2024, 1:37:14 PMJan 23
to Arctic Security Discussion

‘Zombie’ virus, after remaining frozen 48,500 years in Arctic, may cause a deadly pandemic, warn scientists


New Delhi, India Edited By: PrishaUpdated: Jan 23, 2024,

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[Sample of virus released Arctic permafrost. Photograph:(Others) ]


The scientists said that the 'zombie viruses' are likely to be released from the melting Arctic permafrost and can lead to a catastrophic global health emergency 

In a new study, the scientists have issued a warning regarding how dangerous are the viruses which are buried under ice sheets in the Arctic permafrost and other places.he scientists said that the melting Arctic permafrost is likely to release the 'zombie viruses' that can cause catastrophic global health emergencies, as per a report published in The Guardian.  

The threat regarding the zombie virus has escalated because of rising temperatures due to global warming, which also resulted in the melting of the frozen ice. 

Some of the samples retrieved from Siberian permafrost last year were used by scientists to better understand the risks related to these viruses. These viruses have remained frozen in the ground for thousands of years. 

Speaking to The Guardian, Geneticist Jean-Michel Claverie of Aix-Marseille University said, "At the moment, analyses of pandemic threats focus on diseases that might emerge in southern regions and then spread north. By contrast, little attention has been given to an outbreak that might emerge in the far north and then travel south - and that is an oversight, I believe. There are viruses up there that have the potential to infect humans and start a new disease outbreak."

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Meanwhile, scientist Marion Koopmans of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam also agreed with the conclusions and said, "We don't know what viruses are lying out there in the permafrost but I think there is a real risk that there might be one capable of triggering a disease outbreak - say of an ancient form of polio. We have to assume that something like this could happen." 

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