The US National Academy of Medicine has warned that the world faces the risk of a new pandemic that may bring more casualties than the outbreak of the Coronavirus (known also as COVID-19).
In a statement, the Academy stated that it had issued four new reports regarding how to benefit from the lessons learned from the Corona outbreak in preparations to deal with a seasonal influenza outbreak and a possible new influenza pandemic.
The academy indicated that a new influenza pandemic similar to the one that killed 50 million people in the world in 1918 is likely to bring worse repercussions than the ongoing Corona pandemic.
The academy pointed out that influenza is still the most likely circulating pathogen to cause a new pandemic.
It warns that the risk of the world heading to this scenario is becoming more and more dangerous in the era of the “COVID-19” pandemic, due to changes in international and regional conditions that affect people and animals.
The Academy stressed the need for the international community to put in place mechanisms to prepare for a new pandemic, and always invest in developing vaccines, strengthening medical supply chains, developing production capacities in low- and middle-income countries, and engaging their populations in scientific research.
The academy pointed out that global spending on dealing with a new pandemic is estimated at $570 billion over a year since its outbreak, while spending on pre-pandemic preparations is estimated at only $4.5 billion, according to World Bank assessments.
The president of the academy, Victor Dzau, said: “The seasonal flu and the new influenza pandemic may break out at any moment, and preparation must be a permanent commitment, and it cannot be from year to year and from one crisis to another.”