WHO sounds alarm bell on Influenza pandemic
According to WHO, the world will face another pandemic of influenza and "it is a matter of when, not if".
World Health Organisation has bad news for you. According to WHO, the world will face another pandemic of influenza and "it is a matter of when, not if".
Influenza, also known as the flu, is caused by the influenza virus. The symptoms include fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pain, headache etc. 'Pandemic' refers to a widespread epidemic of a disease, which has spread over a large area, sometimes including multiple continents.
The main worry of the WHO is that the flu virus will one day jump from animals to people, mutate, and then infect a large population.
Last time the world witnessed an influenza pandemic-- caused by the H1N1 virus -- was in 2009 and 2010. According to Reuters, studies of that pandemic found that at least one in five people worldwide were infected in the first year.
There are multiple flu viruses and they infect around a billion people every year. Of these, three to five million develop a severe infection. This results in between 290,000 and 650,000 seasonal flu-related respiratory deaths.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO's director-general, said: “The threat of pandemic influenza is ever-present, we must be vigilant and prepared – the cost of a major influenza outbreak will far outweigh the price of prevention."
The WHO has also prepared a road map to fight against a potential pandemic, which includes urging all governments to develop a national flu plan, and to develop a strategy for its prevention and detection.
(With inputs from Reuters)