WHO: There is a chance of a another, more serious pandemic

In the final World Health Organization COVID-19 press conference of the year last Monday, senior officials warned the virus is “not necessarily the big one”, and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading across the world.

Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO Emergencies Program, said, “The next pandemic may be more severe,” adding we need to “get our act together,” because we live on a fragile planet, and in an increasingly complex society. “Let’s honor those we’ve lost by getting better at what we do.”

The WHO Technical Lead on COVID-19, Dr. Maria van Kerkhove, noted that some of the countries that have coped better with COVID-19 have not necessarily been those with the highest incomes, but those that have lived through other infectious disease outbreaks.

Those countries, she said, have used the “muscle memory” of traumatic events to kick their systems into gear, and act to comprehensively tackle the virus.

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