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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Acute risk of Major pandemic,WHO warns....

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    Posted: September 18 2019 at 4:14pm

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News > Science
World facing ‘acute risk of devastating disease pandemics’ which would kill millions, WHO warns
Rapidly-spreading pathogens likely to ‘upend economies and create social chaos’, scientists warn

Harry Cockburn
3 hours ago
An airborne pandemic could kill millions and wipe 5 per cent from the global economy, according to WHO scientists
An airborne pandemic could kill millions and wipe 5 per cent from the global economy, according to WHO scientists ( Getty )
The world is facing the growing risk of a disease pandemic which could kill millions, and critically destabilise the global economy, an international expert panel of scientists has warned.

The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), a new body assembled by the World Bank and the World Health Organisation formed after the west African Ebola outbreak, has said governments must make considerably larger efforts to prepare for and mitigate that risk.


In its first annual report, the GPMB said there is an “acute risk for devastating regional or global disease epidemics or pandemics that not only cause loss of life but upend economies and create social chaos”.

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“The threat of a pandemic spreading around the globe is a real one,” the group said in a report released on Wednesday.


“A quick-moving pathogen has the potential to kill tens of millions of people, disrupt economies and destabilise national security.”

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“While disease has always been part of the human experience, a combination of global trends, including insecurity and extreme weather, has heightened the risk. Disease thrives in disorder and has taken advantage–outbreaks have been on the rise for the past several decades and the spectre of a global health emergency looms large.


It added: “There is a very real threat of a rapidly moving, highly lethal pandemic of a respiratory pathogen killing 50 to 80 million people and wiping out nearly 5 per cent of the world’s economy.

“A global pandemic on that scale would be catastrophic, creating widespread havoc, instability and insecurity. The world is not prepared.”

The authors of the report called for “willingness and leadership” and said leaders had “allowed a cycle of panic and neglect when it comes to pandemics”.

The report calls for greater investment, for countries to lead by example, to invest and institutionalise responses to pandemics, to “prepare for the worst”, to integrate preparedness into economic risk, and direct funding towards the poorest countries.

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While some governments and international agencies have made efforts to be vigilant and prepare for major disease outbreaks since the devastating 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, those efforts are “grossly insufficient”, the report said.

The report cited the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which killed an estimated 50 million people. With vast numbers of people crossing the world on planes every day, an equivalent airborne outbreak now could spread globally in less than 36 hours and kill an estimated 50 million to 80 million people.

In the case of a pandemic, many national health systems – particularly in poor countries – would collapse.


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“Poverty and fragility exacerbate outbreaks of infectious disease and help create the conditions for pandemics to take hold,” said Axel van Trotsenburg, acting chief executive of the World Bank and a member of the panel.

Calling on governments to “heed the lessons these outbreaks are teaching us” and to “fix the roof before the rain comes”, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said countries must invest in strengthening their health systems, boost funds for research into new technologies, improve coordination and rapid communication systems, and monitor progress continually.

The WHO also warned earlier this year that another pandemic of flu – which is caused by airborne viruses – is inevitable, and said the world should prepare for it.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 18 2019 at 4:15pm
The sooner the better.....

After all it's the only real answer to climate change....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 18 2019 at 10:24pm
No, we are not prepared for such a thing, in the same way we are not willing to make the huge changes needed to deal with climate change.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2019 at 4:03am
When the Kyoto agreement was signed,
I thought to myself how so I personally use 50% less fossil fuel/carbon .

The only answer I can come up with is :

Stay at home 3.5 days a week and not do any thing, not cook, put a light on ,not even Fart(sorry)that releases methane.....

So, my point is that is impossible,

So could someone give me an alternative please, because I really can only see that one....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2019 at 4:27am
SBS News: This headmaster's statement to parents about tomorrow's climate strikes is golden.
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/this-headmaster-s-statement-to-parents-about-tomorrow-s-climate-strikes-is-golden
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2019 at 10:23am
I really don't like stories that include lots of "woulds, coulds, our mights,"   Absolutely useless fear mongering. Please refrain from reporting till you are actually have something to report.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2019 at 4:21pm
I'll post what I like when I like, have a nice day....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2019 at 11:40pm
Having studied statistics and worked with financial data most of my life, I am much more happy when a view of the future is expressed with a conditional statement. Almost nothing can be stated as as absolutely 100% sure, and it worries me if reports do not state the margin of error that they are working with.

If one is to look ahead (eg the legal requirement for an organisation to make a budget) one has to use conditional statements. So the premise of DT is that no one here should post any prognosis of the future - which shows a very shallow thought process.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 20 2019 at 1:17am
Originally posted by DeepThinker DeepThinker wrote:

I really don't like stories that include lots of "woulds, coulds, our mights,"   Absolutely useless fear mongering. Please refrain from reporting till you are actually have something to report.


I was actually thinking that the original article painted too rosy of a picture.


"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 20 2019 at 8:31am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 20 2019 at 11:56am
As regards future pandemics, There will be one - CERTAIN; When it will happen - IMPOSSIBLY UNPREDICTABLE. How well we will cope, how fast and effectively we will develop vaccines and how greatly our interconnectedness will f*** us over is still to be discovered. Assuming the worst is therefore a sensible approach.

As far as I can tell, that is as close to 100% accurate as can be calculated.

As for climate change: OH BOY!!!!! As tiny changes to atmosphere can produce colossal changes and as those gargantuan changes take time to happen, I suspect we are already sc***ed. The zombie (us) just has not realised he is dead yet.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 20 2019 at 3:14pm
Hi Five, Techno.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 20 2019 at 7:40pm
carbon20 Yes you post what ever you want.   I am sorry I wasn't criticizing you... but the original article.

My issue is that the headline makes it seem as though it is news.    So I read the story wondering "so what pathogen are they worried about"....   Well yea it turns out there is no news in the story.   That was my only issue. Yes we need to be prepared and vigilant, but we also need to be accurate.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2019 at 5:02am
Fair enough,

I post stuff, I expect it to get "peer reviewed"
Ammend ,scrutinized.

I just "throw it out there"



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2019 at 5:35am
I suppose it makes sense why the WHO is sending a message to stay vigilant. It's been 10 years since the last pandemic, and the clock is ticking. With every passing year, the risk grows. Since the last two pandemics were 40 years apart, the WHO might be playing the odds that the next pandemic will come a lot sooner. By the sound of their alarming headline, their models may be forecasting one very soon, although they probably won't share many details to that finding so they're sure not to sound a potential false alarm. It seems as though the WHO feels fairly confident that the next one may be closer than what we think. Their experts get paid the big bucks to predict a possible window for the next one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2019 at 4:16am
Ropes are on special......

Do us all a favor......

There is no hope for you,

end it now.......please......

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