World must prepare for deadlier outbreak than COVID-19, states UN health agency

The world should be prepared to respond to a disease outbreak of 'even deadlier potential' than COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said after the UN health agency launched a global network to monitor disease threats. In a speech delivered at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, the UN health agency head warned on May 22 that the end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency did not mean the global health threat was over. 'The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains," he told the annual decision-making meeting of the WHO's 194 member states, according to News Medical. "And the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains," he added. Kicking off the 76th meeting of the WHA on May 20, the WHO launched the International Pathogen Surveillance Network (IPSN) to help identify and respond to emerging disease threats using genomics. The genetic information from viruses, bacteria and other disease-causing organisms can help scientists recognize and track diseases and develop treatments and vaccines. It can show how infectious or deadly a particular strain is, and how it spreads. The network reportedly aims to give every country access to pathogen genomic sequencing and analytics as part of its public health system. The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed program budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.

Source: Asia Plus