The WHO chieftain Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has announced that we “must prepare” for the next pandemic which happened to be a potential H5N1 human bird flu pandemic.
He added that WHO is engaging with Big Pharma “to make sure that if needed supplies of vaccines and antivirals will be available for global use.”
“Over several few weeks there have been several reports of mammals including minxks otters foxes and sea lions having been infected with H5N1 avian influenza. H5N1 has spread widely in wild birds and poultry for 25 years. But the recent spill over to mammals needs to be monitored closely. For the moment WHO assesses the risk to humans as low since H5N1 first emerged in 1996 we have only seen rare and unsustained transmission of H5N1 to and between humans. But we cannot assume that this remains the case and we must prepare for any change in the status quo. As always people are advised not to touch or collect dead or sick wild animals but to report them to the local authorities. WHO is working with national authorities and partners to monitor the situation closely and to study cases of H5N1 infection in humans when they occur. WHO’s global laboratory network the global influenza surveillance and response system identifies and monitors strains of circulating influenza viruses and provides advice to countries on their risk to human help and available treatment or control measures. WHO recommends countries strengthens surveillance in settings where humans and wild or farmed animals interact. WHO is also continuing to engage with manufacturers to make sure that if needed supplies of vaccines and anti-virals would be availabe for global use.”