Coronavirus: Experts detect virus using nanotechnology bubbles
A dire warning has been issued that a deadly virus currently spreading across Europe will inevitably reach the UK. According to an expert, it’s not a matter of if, but when this will happen.
The containment measures used during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as lockdowns, will be ineffective against the transmission of the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), as confirmed by the same expert speaking to Mirror.
This virus has already claimed lives in Iraq, Pakistan, and Namibia, and new cases are emerging throughout Europe.
Professor James Wood, who recently addressed Parliament’s Science, Innovation, and Technology Committee, stated: “I mean, it’s a kind of when rather than if, I think all in all likelihood.
“There is a risk of spread given the way that diseases emerging.”
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The expert stressed that implementing a lockdown would not be suitable for containing CCHF, which presents symptoms such as unpleasant rashes and neck pain.
Prof Wood, an academic from the University of Cambridge, further explained: “You’d be unlikely to get the sort of respiratory transmission. So even say, I don’t want to call them extreme lockdown enthusiasts, but, someone who thinks that these measures are very important to, to impose straightaway, I don’t think it would be appropriate as it’s not right for this form of infection.”
While CCHF is primarily transmitted through ticks, which are often carried by migratory birds, the likelihood of human-to-human transmission is lower. However, with the impact of global warming leading to the movement of various tick species towards warmer regions, the UK may become susceptible to the virus, especially considering the return of June’s heatwave.
Professor Wood suggested several precautionary measures that people in the UK can take, such as wearing long trousers in areas where ticks are prevalent, such as tall grasslands. Additionally, since ticks can be carried by animals like sheep and goats, farmers are particularly at risk of infection. When ticks bite humans or animals, they rely on blood for nourishment.
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He added: “Try to keep them off our our legs, perhaps wearing long cotton trousers, either tucked into socks or not. So a lot of people in in very thick, dense areas will will check their legs and stuff for ticks after they leave the dense grass or bracken, where a lot of ticks can be found.
“It can spread but you should expect it more really in hospital-type settings where people don’t realise what’s going on and haven’t taken appropriate safety measures, like PPE, what we are so used to seeing hospital workers wear anyway.
“The fatality rate is up to 40 per cent. A lot of so a fair number of people in Spain have died from it.”
Despite acknowledging the inevitable arrival of CCHF in the UK, the professor stressed the presence of uncertainty surrounding the virus. Ongoing research is being conducted to determine the specific timeline of its arrival. There is concern among experts regarding the role of migratory birds native to the UK, such as the house sparrow and blue jay, in carrying ticks, which adds to the overall uncertainty.
He said: “There’s a high level of uncertainty whether it’s going to be five years, or 15, or 25 by the time it reaches UK. That’s the case for these sorts of things, like CCHF, which have not been particularly well studied. Certainly when you compare them to diseases like Lyme disease or, or other tick infections, that we know about, there’s a lot of uncertainty around it.
“It’s very difficult to add any kind of precision to that and it would be a mistake to, frankly, and so none of us are trying to say, you know that ‘we’re all going to die’ or ‘we’re all doomed’. It’s just about being aware that because of the way the world is changing, we’ve got to be much more aware of these sorts of infections in the way that we haven’t been in the past.”
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