What is a “zombie” and should you be worried:  Scientists resurrect 13 “zombie virus” in Siberian permafrost

People are afraid as zombie viruses arrived. There is a panicked reaction to the news. Continue reading to find out more about these infections, their resurgence, and how concerned you should be

Source- Times Of India

People worried as zombie viruses revived

13 “zombie viruses” from the Siberian permafrost of Russia have just been awakened by European experts. One of these viruses, the Pandoravirus yedoma, is more than 48,500 years old, according to the study published on bioRxiv. There are numerous viruses that date back thousands of years.

The term “zombie virus” refers to a virus that remains dormant because it is frozen in ice. It does not imply that the virus will cause you to turn zombie-like in horror films and television shows. However, in keeping with the comparison, these viruses are “undead” like the fictitious zombie and can reanimate and become active in specific situations.

Why is it revived and are these viruses dangerous to humans?

The experts assert that extrapolating their findings “to prove that the hazard is real” is really what should be done. This is because the increasing global temperature may induce these viruses to reactivate and become aggressive. These contagious viruses could be released into the sky if the ice that is now encasing them melts. The lead researcher, Jean-Marie Alempic, stated in Science Alert that this is a public health issue.

The authors issue a warning that some of these “zombie viruses” might be harmful to people. As was previously demonstrated, permafrost thawing can result in fatalities. In 2016, a youngster died as a result of an anthrax outbreak in Siberia, which also sent scores of people to the hospital. According to the authorities, the anthrax outbreak may have begun after a heat wave thawed the permafrost and uncovered a reindeer carcass that had been contaminated with the disease decades earlier.

There is currently insufficient knowledge to say with certainty if these specific zombie viruses will infect a host if thawed outside in the presence of heat, oxygen, and UV radiation. The threats, according to the experts, still exist, particularly as more and more people start to occupy the melting Arctic for economic and industrial endeavors.

The study concluded that it was “fair to consider the danger of ancient virus particles remaining infectious and re-entering the environment by the thawing of ancient permafrost layers.”

There is no reason to fear despite the possible risk, especially if you believe the researchers would release these viruses into the atmosphere.

According to researchers, resurrecting the viruses for this research causes no harm. More significantly, the studied strains primarily infect only amoeba-type microbes.

Ananya Sharma

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