These diseases could cause the next pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way most people view public health. WHO experts consider that a pandemic is a danger that is always present, but even now countries are not prepared to face a next crisis, because currently there are some of the diseases with pandemic potential.

In recent years, the WHO declared an international state of emergency four times, due to viral diseases:

  • Ebola in 2014 and 2019
  • Zika in 2016
  • SARS-CoV-2 in 2020

Nevertheless, the SARS, MERS and H1N1 flu outbreaks had previously set off alarms, although not at international levels. While it is true that humanity has faced epidemics and pandemics in the past, not every time it has come out of them in the best way.

What kinds of diseases could be a risk in the coming years?

Not only are viral diseases a risk, but parasites, such as nematodes or protists or mycoses (diseases caused by fungi) are also a matter of growing concern, since about 20 species cause 90% of mycoses in humans. Mycosis usually strikes immunosuppressed patients.

According to experts, lMigration allows asymptomatic carriers to carry diseases to new places, such as Chagas, which 11% of adults in Latin America suffer without knowing it, or strongyloidiasis present in 12% of Latinos.

Ticks, a small blood-sucking arachnid, are capable of transmitting Mediterranean button fever and babesiosis. The problem with these diseases is that they are not usually reported, so since they do not have alarms, governments do not generate plans to face large outbreaks.

About this theme, the director general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, assured that an international treaty to avoid the vicious cycle of “we do nothing and then we panic” it would be the best thing to do. “The chaos caused by this pandemic only highlights why the world needs a foolproof international agreement that sets the standards,” he said.


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