WHO warns: “Next pandemic will be insects, and the risk is getting bigger and bigger”


©  AFP

The World Health Organization (WHO) launches a new initiative to combat viruses carried by insects. At that launch, the WHO warns that the risk of a new pandemic is increasing and likely to be caused by such a virus-carrying insect.

“We have been through a two-year Covid-19 pandemic and we have learned the hard way what it means not to be adequately prepared for high-impact events.” That’s what Dr. Sylvie Briand, director of the WHO’s Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness team, during a briefing on Thursday. Experts are therefore now trying to devise strategies to prevent a recurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the WHO, the next pandemic could be caused by insects such as mosquitoes and ticks. According to the experts, they represent an “increasing” risk. They can carry viruses such as Zika, yellow fever, chikungunya and dengue. Those viruses, also known as arboviruses, are therefore at the top of the list for the next potential outbreak that could lead to a pandemic. This is mainly because nearly four billion people live in tropical and subtropical regions, which are the ideal environment for such diseases.

Currently, there are almost no effective treatments for these diseases. With the exception of yellow fever. We already have a vaccine for that today.

On Thursday, the WHO therefore announced the launch of the new Global Arbovirus Initiative. They will combine all initiatives that work to combat such arboviruses.

(sgg)

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