Determinants in the emergence of viral agents: the SARS-CoV-2



Abstract. The objective of this paper is to clarify, whenever possible, the determinants in the emergence of biological agents to improve aspects connected with public health and biosecurity. Case study of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is investigated to assess the likely emergence from a wildlife spillover and/or scientific research in labs with unexpected accident. Using a meta-analysis, results suggest that a natural spillover of SARS-CoV-2 that has generated more than 5.2 million of deaths, in analogy with natural disaster, seems to have a remote probability, instead a lab accident in the process of scientific research  has a probability of occurrence of about 15-30%. These results here are important to support  decision making of policymakers for global biosecurity strategies with  appropriate responses to prevent the future diffusion of vital agents similar to SARS-CoV-2 in environment and society.

Keywords. Viral agent; Biological agent; SARS-CoV-2; Novel coronavirus; Zoonoses; Natural disaster; Lab accident; Laboratory biosafety; Biosecurity risks..

JEL. C52; L25; M14.


Viral agent; Biological agent; SARS-CoV-2; Novel coronavirus; Zoonoses; Natural disaster; Lab accident; Laboratory biosafety; Biosecurity risks.

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