UF Scientists Are Trying to Prevent the Next "Coronavirus" in Florida (Tallahassee Democrat)

UF Scientists Are Trying to Prevent the Next “Coronavirus” in Florida

University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers, Kwang Cheol Jeong, Ph.D., and Samantha Wisely, Ph.D., are looking at the zoonotic potential of feral swine. These animals carry the pathogen that causes brucellosis, the most frequent wildlife disease that infects humans. If they also carry disease that can spread to domestic pigs or to cattle, that could be an economic catastrophe. In addition to coronavirus, China is managing an outbreak of African swine fever that has killed millions of animals and caused it to turn to costly imports of pork.

Ultimately, Jeong and Wisely are trying to learn how to reduce the chances that the next coronavirus-like outbreak occurs in Florida. Without their work, we may not only be wasting our prevention dollar but in our complacency fail to be on the lookout for the bacteria or the mode of transmission that poses a greater threat to human health.

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