The next emerging threat

Ian Lipkin, Columbia University, New York, and Lyle Petersen, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fort Collins, Colorado, discuss recently emerged pathogens, and how to prepare should their range expand. When asked if MERS-coronavirus would cause the next pandemic, Ian Lipkin responded ‘I don’t have a crystal ball’.

Recorded at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Boston, MA on 19 May 2014.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • gsgs 23 May 2014, 3:15 pm

    since they don’t give numbers for probabilities, we must try to assign
    our perceived numbers to their statements
    “‘I don’t have a crystal ball” = >1% for me, else he would probably (my estimate:70%)
    have said something like “unlikely”
    please tell me, when you find experts who do give probability estimates !

  • profvrr 23 May 2014, 3:21 pm

    I don’t know any virologist who will assign probabilities to pandemics. How can you predict evolution? It’s not possible, because all the possible mutations are so huge. When asked earlier, Lipkin replied that he worries more about dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.

  • gsgs 23 May 2014, 3:31 pm

    Bob Gleeson, Michael Steele, Grattan Woodson did assign subjective probabilities to
    an H5N1 pandemic.
    Many more experts did do it, when they could remain anonymous, see the Fischhoff-Brilliant
    survey in 2005.
    For an analysis of the problem see: