Going Antiviral

“Every time a new virus appears we scramble for a new treatment. Our usual antiviral approach is, as researchers say, ‘one bug, one drug’; often, it’s no drug. David Ho has spent forty years fighting the aids epidemic, which has killed thirty million people and still kills nearly a million a year; he has seen three coronaviruses ambush us in the past two decades. Like many scientists, he’s tired of being behind the ball. He’d like to see a penicillin for viruses—one pill, or, anyway, a mere handful—that will eliminate whatever ails us. He and his colleagues aim to have these next-generation drugs ready in time for the next pathogen. ‘We have to be proactive,’ he told me. ‘We must not be in a position of playing catch-up ever again.'” We may not have sports or other competitions. But we’re watching the race of our lives. The New Yorker’s Matthew Hutson: The Quest for a Pandemic Pill.

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