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How do we prevent the next pandemic?

Public event in collaboration with Reatch, 9 June 2022, University of Zurich

Covid-19 has shown that pandemics are a real threat. With the end of the related health policy measures in Switzerland and the war in Ukraine, the topic of pandemics is once again receding into the

background. Experts agree, however, that the next pandemic is only a matter of time. How can we prepare for it? Or can it even be prevented?

Experts agree that the next pandemic could have much more devastating consequences than Covid-19. This applies to natural, and, above all, to artificially produced pathogens. Bioweapons pose a particular danger. Although these are banned in the Biological Weapons Convention, the Convention has extremely limited financial resources. Therefore, it must be strengthened.

Research plays a fundamental role in the fight against pandemics, for example in monitoring the occurrence of infections. Surveillance, for example in wastewater, could even make it possible to detect new, potentially pandemic pathogens at an early stage, thus gaining valuable time to combat a pandemic in its infancy.

The event began with an input presentation by Laurent Bächler (Pour Demain) on strengthening the early detection of pandemics using wastewater samples. His contribution was followed by a second short presentation by Noémie Zurlinden (Pour Demain) on specific steps Switzerland can take to support the weakly established Biological Weapons Convention. The evening was moderated by Patrick Stadler (Pour Demain) and Benedikt Schmidt (Reatch).


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