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Experts Warn Next Pandemic Could Strike Anytime: Report – News18


Last Updated: March 24, 2024, 20:14 IST

A health worker wearing PPE places a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test swab in a vial at the Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy. (Reuters file photo)

According to a report by Sky News, infectious disease experts in the UK have expressed concerns about the possibility of viruses transferring from animals to humans and causing another pandemic

Four years have passed since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19, also known as the Coronavirus, a global pandemic on March 11, 2020. Despite the decrease in its impact, experts caution that another pandemic could emerge at any time.

According to a report by Sky News, infectious disease experts in the UK have expressed concerns about the possibility of viruses transferring from animals to humans and causing another pandemic.

“The next pandemic is around the corner – it might be two years, it could be 20 years, it could be longer – but we can’t afford to let our guards down. We need to stay vigilant, prepared and ready to make sacrifices again,” says Dr Nathalie MacDermott, clinical lecturer in infectious diseases at King’s College London.

Scientists also warn that global warming and deforestation are increasing the risk of viruses or bacteria crossing from animals to humans.

Dr MacDermott explains that by cutting down trees in the Amazon and parts of Africa, animals and insects are moving closer to human habitats. “We’re creating a situation that is rife for outbreaks,” she adds.

Moreover, with rising temperatures, outbreaks of mosquito and tick-borne viruses such as dengue, chikungunya, and Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) are occurring in parts of Europe that were previously unaffected.

Covid-19 has often been referred to as a “once in a lifetime” occurrence. However, with over six million estimated deaths worldwide, the last similar pandemic emerged four decades ago. HIV/AIDS, identified in 1981, has resulted in 36 million deaths globally. Before that, the Hong Kong flu pandemic in 1968 caused approximately a million deaths, and the Spanish flu of 1918 claimed 50 million lives.



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