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The Pandemic Around The Corner

July 29, 2021

It would be nice to think that the COVID-19 pandemic was a “one-off” but that isn’t realistic. In today’s world, the potential for transmission ranges from populations living near animals to a global interwoven world that transmits disease.

In this century, we already experienced SARS (2003), H1N1 (2009), MERS (2012) Ebola (2014) and now COVID. Candidates for future viruses include:

  • Ebola and Marburg
  • Mosquito-borne (e.g. Zika)
  • Bat-borne (e.g. Nipah)

The world was caught this time without a public health system or an organization to track potential viruses with pandemic potential and react. The World Health Organization (WHO) needs to prepare itself for a major role.

According to Peter Daszak, a virus hunter at EcoHealth Alliance in New York, a nonprofit research group, the current “strategy is we really do let them (viruses) happen.” He suggests that it would be more beneficial to approach pandemics in a similar manner to terrorist networks. “Track them so we can intervene before they can wreak havoc.”

We hope someone is listening.

Source: “A Five-Point Plan to Stop the Next Pandemic,” Bloomberg Businessweek, February 8, 2021

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