A leader with the World Health Organization warned that even as devastating as the coronavirus pandemic has been, it is “not necessarily the big one” regarding outbreaks of infectious diseases.
Dr. Mike Ryan, the head of the WHO emergencies program, said during a media briefing Monday that the deadly pandemic is “a wake-up call” for the world to steel for even worse illnesses that could emerge.
“This pandemic has been very severe, has spread around the world extremely quickly, it has affected every corner of this planet,” Ryan said. “But this not necessarily the big one. This virus is transmissible, and it kills people and it has deprived so many people of loved ones. But its current case fatality is reasonably low in comparison to other emerging diseases. This is a wake-up call.”
Ryan went on to say that mankind needs “to get ready for something that may even be more severe in the future.”
“In this, we must honor those we’ve lost by getting better at what we do every day,” he said.
As of Wednesday, approximately 82.5 million coronavirus cases and 1.8 million related deaths have been reported globally, with the U.S. leading in both categories with 19.5 million cases and over 338,000 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.