Why the universal cure for flu lies in the heart of rural Oxfordshire

Telegraph 18 Dec 2019 09:58

Industry must work closer with academics to help the UK remain at the forefront of vaccine research.

Pale, sweaty and nauseous, Beth Emhoff embraces her son after returning home from a business trip in Hong Kong. Days later they are both dead. Within weeks, thousands in Emhoff’s town succumb to the same mystery illness. After months, the death toll reaches 2.5 million.

That is the chilling plot of Contagion, a film offering a depiction of a global pandemic that experts claim is as realistic as it is terrifying.

“It is a worst-case scenario,” says Professor John Edmunds of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “But it’s not completely impossible ... One day we’ll probably get a flu virus that does something similar.”

That day may come within our lifetimes, according to Bill Gates. The Microsoft founder is so concerned that he is investing £12m, alongside Google co-founder Larry Page, to help find a “holy grail” flu vaccine that can protect against every strain of the virus.

Continue reading original article...