After Corona, the first question in front of us arises is the world ready for the next pandemic?
Because of vaccination, many deadly diseases are now preventable.
But we still lack vaccines for other potentially lethal diseases that could spread to become pandemics, like COVID-19.
As devastating as the COVID-19 pandemic has been, scientists had expected something like it. Extreme global connectivity has meant that the next epidemic is often only a flight away.
In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed several infectious diseases that pose a serious threat to public health.
An epidemic is an outbreak of a disease in a particular location, whereas a pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that spreads to and occurs in many different geographic areas at the same time. Some of the latest infectious diseases all over the world are –
Until very recently there was no licensed vaccine for Ebola.
The most recent outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) seems to be nearly over, yet health officials are not standing down just yet.
The symptoms of this flu, also called Tomato fever, include rashes, skin irritation, and dehydration.
According to several reports, the flu can also cause tiredness, joint pain, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, high fever, and body aches.
In some cases, it may also change the color of the legs and the hands.
SARS-CoV-2, MERS, and NeoCov all belong to a group of viruses known as coronaviruses.
There are hundreds of coronaviruses, most of which circulate among animals such as pigs, camels, bats, and cats.
Some coronaviruses can infect humans and cause mild cold-like symptoms. Only three coronaviruses have been known to cause serious symptoms in humans.
Zika virus mostly causes mild disease, including fever, rash, and muscle pain. Zika virus is spread by Aedes mosquitoes, which also transmit dengue and chikungunya viruses. The rapid spread of the Zika virus in the western hemisphere in 2015 and 2016 demonstrates its pandemic potential.
A distant cousin of the measles virus, Nipah can kill up to 75% of the people it infects and has caused frequent outbreaks in South-East Asia since its emergence in 1998. The virus can cause extreme brain swelling, the symptoms of which are headache, stiff neck, vomiting, dizziness, and falling into a coma.
Monkeypox produces symptoms similar to smallpox, such as a widespread pustular rash with fever and exhaustion. It is mostly spread by contact with wild animals such as rodents and primates but can be spread between people through contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets, or contaminated clothes or bedding.
Rift Valley fever
Rift Valley fever is a mosquito-borne disease that mostly affects animals, but people can be infected when they come into contact with the bodily fluids, such as blood or milk, of infected animals. They can also be infected through mosquito bites.
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever
This disease mostly affects animals, especially livestock, and is usually spread through the bite of an infected tick, but people can get infected when they come into contact with recently slaughtered infected animals.
Like Ebola and Marburg, Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic illness that damages organs and ruptures blood vessels, and 1 in 5 people infected with the Lassa virus has severe disease affecting the liver, spleen or kidneys. The virus is often transmitted by the urine or feces of Mastomys rats, native to Africa, via contaminated household objects.
Marburg virus disease
From the same family of viruses as Ebola, Marburg causes similar symptoms as Ebola and is spread in a similar way, through contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or tissues of infected people.
The world is better prepared and should be prepared for the next large outbreak or pandemic because of technologies developed for vaccines, diagnostic tests, and therapeutics. These technologies have built on years of investment in research, and the COVID-19 pandemic has massively accelerated their development.