Covid-19 not the worst, another pandemic lurks in the Future: Ian Lipkin

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The Coronavirus pandemic might be the worst crisis humanity has ever faced since World War II. But according to internationally-acclaimed virologist Dr Ian Lipkin, the Covid-19 pandemic is not the worst we will face and more such crises awaits us in the near future. Dr Lipkin said that increased human activity has increased the rate at which such health crises are emerging and will continue to emerge.

“I think we are seeing these [health crises] much more frequently because of factors like deforestation, population migration, international trade and travel and climate change. All of these are changing the rate at which they appear,” he said.

“Since the Spanish Flu, there have many epidemics such as AIDS, Nipah, Chikungunya, SARS-1, MERS…I have followed at least 15 such potential pandemics,” he added.

Alarmingly, he said, “I am not convinced coronavirus is the worst we will face. We can absolutely have another pandemic if we don’t change how we interact with our natural environment. We are going to have this problem continuously,” he said.

“Climate change has forced people to move, we have international trade which allows diseases to spread rapidly. We have people who no longer have access to proteins so they have to eat wild animals which carry disease. We have wealthy people who keep exotic pets who can infect humans,” he added.

To prevent such outbreaks from occurring again, Lipkin stressed on the need for changing our patterns of living as well as the development and cultivation of international systems of data sharing that help the world keep on top of such developments.