Bill Gates says Ebola Was a “Wake-Up Call”; Tells World to Get Ready for the Next Great Epidemic

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

In an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, Bill Gates laid out a frightening scenario regarding future epidemics: “We must prepare for future epidemics of diseases that may spread more effectively than Ebola.”

Gates, a businessman and philanthropist, challenged the world to learn from what happened with Ebola.

“There is a significant chance that an epidemic of a substantially more infectious disease will occur sometime in the next 20 years; after all, we saw major epidemics during the 20th century, including the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918-1919 and the ongoing pandemic of human immunodeficiency virus,” Gates wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. “In fact, of all the things that could kill more than 10 million people around the world, the most likely is an epidemic stemming from either natural causes or bioterrorism.”

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Gates said the world needs to look at future epidemics like war — a plan needs to be in place, including an organization to manage and coordinate responses.

“Despite efforts by the United States and a few other countries, there are still big holes in the world’s ability to respond to an epidemic,” Gates wrote. “Other countries may be more likely to step up if they see an overall plan and understand their role in it. We need a rigorous study of the cost of building a global warning and response system and a plan for contributions from various countries.”

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SOURCE: Morgan Chilson

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