Tom Weber is interviewing David Quammen this morning about his new book, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic.
Here’s what Quammen reported in The New York Times:
It will most likely be caused by a virus, not by a bacterium or some other kind of bug. More specifically, we should expect an RNA virus (specifically, one that bears its genome as a single molecular strand), as distinct from a DNA virus (carrying its info on the reliable double helix, less prone to mutation, therefore less variable and adaptable). Finally, this RNA virus will almost certainly be zoonotic — a pathogen that emerges from some nonhuman animal to infect, and spread among, human beings.
Want a brief virus tutorial? Pretend you are in a college lecture hall: