By Lynn Klotz, Member, Scientists Working Group
The five-minute film “Hey, let’s fight global pandemics by maybe starting one… Say WHAT?” is a well-produced and an entirely accurate portrayal of the risk of creating in the lab deadly avian flu viruses that might spread from human to human through the air. We all know of airborne spread from seasonal flu.
If one of these viruses was accidentally released from a lab, it could seed a pandemic that could kill millions of people. Since 2011 when lab-creation of one of these viruses was first announced, The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation has been involved with the group of high-profile scientists opposing this high-risk research.
For those who may be interested in further pursuing this topic, here are a few publications from the Center on many aspects of our concern.
Human error in high biocontainment labs: a likely pandemic threat.
New pathogen research rules: Gain of function, loss of clarity
Opinion: The consequences of a lab escape of a potential pandemic pathogen,” Frontiers in Public Health: Infectious Diseases
The Unacceptable Risks of a Man-made Pandemic
Three new publications further quantifying the risk are now being written. Stay tuned.