Campus News

Public health entomologist discusses virus most likely to cause next pandemic

Elmer Gray, an extension entomologist and researcher in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, spoke with the Daily Mail about what he believes could be the most likely cause of the next pandemic.

According to Gray, warming temperatures coupled with globalization have generated a situation where widespread insect-borne diseases could occur. People are at greater risk of infections due to the warmer overnight temperatures fueling the growth of mosquito populations.

With recorded locally transmitted cases of malaria and dengue fever, we could see the return of once-eradicated diseases.

“Insect-borne diseases are not going to cause the next pandemic, but there is definitely potential for outbreaks and for large areas of concern,” Gray said.