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Nuclear science, a powerhouse in epidemic prevention

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Nuclear science for better prevention of epidemics: this is the meaning of the partnership agreement signed Wednesday, November 17th in Senegal, between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Pasteur Institute in Dakar. The IAEA will promote technology transfer to help identify animal disease outbreaks on the continent more quickly.

With our correspondent in Dakar Charlotte realize

Covid-19, fever EbolaMarburg virus and bird flu… All these epidemics are of animal origin. This is called Zoonoses IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi explains that nuclear technology makes it possible to better detect it. This is combined with the Pasteur Institute under the project “ZODIAC” (Action Integrated Zoonoses), “Integrated Action against Zoonoses” which It was launched last year:

« Nuclear-derived technologies make a very important contribution to the very early identification of diseases of animal origin. We have branches in Africa, the Pasteur Institute and others, which will be combined to create an alert network for diseases that could develop into epidemics. »

The PCR test Real-time for example, used to detect Covid-19 virusIt is a technology derived from nuclear energy. Concretely, how will this partnership translate? Professor Amadou Sall is the Director General of the Pasteur Institute in Dakar: “ Today, anyone who works in a lab, and needs training in this detection technology, can get support from the IAEA and the Pasteur Institute, and transfer these technologies to countries that need them, or labs that don’t have the capabilities. There is a research component to trying to develop new, more sensitive methods that work faster. »

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The financial aspect of this partnership has not been specified.

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