Permafrost Threat and Global Health Concerns

Scientists have warned of a new threat to global health that may arise from previous viruses found in Arctic permafrost that could be released by Earth’s warming climate and cause a significant disease outbreak.

Zombie Viruses

Researchers have found ancient viral strains beneath the permafrost of the Arctic known as Methuselah microorganisms, or zombie viruses. These viruses might potentially cause a global health hazard due to their potential release from Earth’s changing climate. 

Planning for an Arctic surveillance network has started to identify early cases of sickness caused by ancient microorganisms and treat afflicted individuals with professional medical care and isolation. 

The possibility that viruses in the permafrost may infect people and cause a new illness epidemic makes the possibility of a new disease outbreak caused by an old strain of polio extremely concerning. 

Poxviruses and herpesviruses are common human illnesses, and researchers have found genomic remnants of these infections.

Why do viruses spread on Earth?

There is no inherent immunity in modern individuals. Additionally, researchers and medical professionals think viruses that may have once lived on Earth a million years ago may still be preserved in the lowest permafrost layers. 

It was a long time before the earliest known people, who lived about 300,000 years ago, appeared on the earth. Therefore, there is no inherent defense against the ancient viral invaders in modern people.

Jean-Michel Claverie stated, “Our immunity may have never been interacting with some of those microorganisms which is another issue.” He continued, “The scenario of a virus that was unidentified once infecting an ancient human coming back towards us, however improbable, has grown into a real possibility.”

Zombie Viruses

What are the causes of zombie viruses?

Scientists expressed concern that if climate change releases long-frozen “zombie viruses” from the thawing permafrost in the Arctic, it might start a new epidemic.

Since melting sea ice creates opportunities for shipping and industry, including deep mining into the permafrost that occupies five percent of the northern hemisphere, mostly in Canada, Siberia, and Alaska, global warming is facilitating an increase in human activity at the northernmost limits of the Earth.

How does the zombie virus spread?

The infection is not transported by air; rather, it spreads through bites, transplants, and the ingestion of contaminated tissue through wounds in the skin. 

However, many real infectious agents, including the rabies virus, HIV, cytomegalovirus, herpes virus, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob prion disease, correlate with some of its other characteristics. 

Is it possible for Zombie viruses to alter brain function?

Several bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites can induce discomfort around and inside the brain, particularly if treatment is not received. The meninges, which surround your brain and spinal cord, become inflamed when you have meningitis. 

Confusion, low energy, appetite loss, hallucinations, and trouble focusing and paying attention can result from this. Another similar condition that can occur is encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain. 

Behavior changes, disorientation, trouble speaking or moving, memory problems, and seizures are all brought on by encephalitis. The following viruses are the most frequent cause of encephalitis:

  • HIV.
  • Herpes simplex.
  • West Nile virus.
  • Enteroviruses.

Zombie virus precautions

If you want to save yourself from the zombie virus then you must follow the instructions that are given below. 

Assemble a disaster supply kit

  • As supplies become scarce, assemble a kit containing necessities such as non-perishable food, a bottle of water, first aid supplies, clothing, amenities, a knife, a battery-operated radio, and duct tape in case of zombie attacks. 

Place a stock of medications

  • Make sure you have enough prescription and over-the-counter medicine to last a few days in case of zombie-induced pharmacy closures.

Remember to bring your paperwork

  • While they are good at devouring brains, zombies are terrible at organizing personal documents. Hold a driver’s license passport, and birth certificate close at hand in case of emergency; these documents may come in handy even in the absence of zombies.

Make an escape plan

  • You must leave the town as soon as possible because zombies will not stop until they find food, or more specifically, brains. That’s the CDC’s position. Planning not just where to run but several routes to get there is advised to stay safe so that the tendons people who eat don’t get a chance. 

Choose the ideal zombie-fighting outfit

  • To prevent blood from splattering, wear protective gear such as gloves, a helmet, and goggles. If you can find one, an authentic leather body suit is certainly ideal.

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