“Nature will eventually challenge mankind again with an equivalent of the 1918 influenza virus. We need to be careful, but we also need to be prepared.”
So warned Otago alumnus and internationally acclaimed virologist Professor Robert Webster in his 2018 book Flu Hunter (Otago University Press). And he was very clear on the likelihood of another global pandemic: “... it is not only possible, it is just a matter of when".
With a global pandemic now raging, scientists from Otago's Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases and across the wider University are applying their skills to this test, working towards the development of new diagnostics and treatments.