SARS-CoV-2 Mutations, Variants, and National Security

By |2021-05-07T08:34:56-10:00May 8th, 2021|

By Deon Canyon, Sebastian Kevany and Michael S. Baker * Mutations are caused by random, spontaneous errors in the RNA-based genetic code of viruses that occur as the virus replicates within a host. The process of continually emerging, small mutations is called antigenic drift. In influenza and Covid, these mutations are often noticeable by observing changes in viral surface proteins, otherwise known as antigens. The human immune system identifies and reacts to foreign antigens by producing antibodies that target the infection. Most vaccines work by presenting a harmless version of the foreign antigen to train the immune system to be [...]

An International Public Health and Virus Surveillance Network for National Security

By |2021-05-06T11:02:18-10:00May 6th, 2021|

By Deon Canyon, Sebastian Kevany and Michael S. Baker* Introduction The monitoring and surveillance of novel and variant, emergent and resurgent, infectious viral diseases is a core need for global health and national security. The United States has not, to date, put a priority on the funding and resourcing of private and public laboratories to identify and monitor Covid variants and mutations. While the U.K. sequences 10% of its positive cases, the U.S. currently only inspects around 0.3-1.5% of positive tests for the presence of viral mutations, which is lower than Gambia, Senegal and even Latvia. This created a “gaping [...]

The Intersection of Global Health, Military Medical intelligence, and National Security in the Management of Transboundary Hazards and Outbreaks

By |2020-07-07T08:43:11-10:00July 1st, 2020|

This paper identifies the many forms of evolving surveillance techniques that could be used for prevention and early warning of global pandemic outbreaks, and the resistance to such monitoring. Excerpt: The COVID-19 pandemic-induced, shocking collapse of national and international trade, air travel, and tourism have rocked the world, and brought into stark relief the need for better health and disease surveillance. We have witnessed the global economy brought to its knees by the rapid spread of infection, resulting in widespread illness and many deaths. The rise in nationalism and isolationism, political use of the blame game, along with locked-down peoples [...]

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