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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Next Flu Explosion: Rise In Obesity And Diabetes Will Exacerbate Future Pandemics

Scientists involved in a new study published this month in the research journal, Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, have sounded the alarm over their ability to contain future flu pandemics in relation to the rise of obesity especially in the West today.

The study finds that growth rates in obesity and diabetes, along with populations which are increasingly resistant to antibiotics,could turn even a mild flu outbreak into an explosive global pandemic.
Image source: Getty via ABC News

One of the authors of the study, Dr Kirsty Short, virologist at the University of Queensland, told The Telegraph of the link between obesity and spread of dangerous diseases: “There’s been an incredible rate of increase of diabetes and obesity even in my lifetime.” She explained: “This has significant implications on infectious diseases and the spread of infectious disease.”

Dr. Short continued, "But because chronic diseases have risen in frequency in such a short period of time, we’re only starting to appreciate all of the consequences."

Reflecting on the now century old Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918, which infected a third of the global population and is estimated to have killed between 50 and 100 million people, she said of the next big outbreak, “we know that there will be one”.


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