WHO says Zika, dengue could cause the next pandemic

Dengue fever infects 390 million people in 130 countries annually where the disease is endemic, while the Zika virus broke out in 2016 when it was found to cause birth defects such as microcephaly, according to the WHO. It has been detected in at least 89 countries.

Yellow fever has a high risk of outbreaks in 40 countries and causes jaundice, severe dengue and death, like dengue. Chikungunya, although less well known, is present in 115 countries and causes severe arthritis and disability.

The Telegraph reports, the WHO said signs are growing that the risk these diseases pose “is increasing”.

Experts are trying to develop strategies to prevent the next outbreak from escalating into disaster. Virus targeting is at the top of the list.

“We’ve been through two years of the Covid-19 pandemic and we’ve learned the hard way [it costs] Dr Sylvie Briand, director of the global infection risk response team at WHO, was quoted as saying.

“We have got [a] She added that there are indications with SARS in 2003 and the experience of the 2009 flu pandemic – but there are still gaps in our preparedness,” she added. The next pandemic, most likely caused by a new arbovirus. And we also have some signals that the risk is growing. ”

Experts spoke at the launch of WHO’s new Global Arbovirus Initiative – an integrated strategic plan to focus resources on risk surveillance, pandemic prevention, preparedness, detection and cope with.

Dr. Mike Ryan, World Health Organization’s Emergencies Program team leader.

The United Nations health agency says international action is needed, given the “frequency and extent of outbreaks” of the arbovirus. Their reach is also increasing, the WHO warns, driven by climate change, population growth and increasing urbanization.

Dr Ren Minghui, WHO assistant director-general, said: “As urban populations continue to expand, the threat of these diseases is increasingly alarming.

“As close living arrangements amplify the spread of this virus, we must address these challenges now to prevent a catastrophic impact on the health system in the future.”

Source: IANS

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