The World Health Organization has warned that the flu is on the verge of becoming a pandemic, saying it is too early to rule out that countries could be “wiped off the map.”
The WHO warned Thursday that a pandemics would be “highly unlikely” without rapid and coordinated actions from governments and private businesses, including health care workers.
“The likelihood of a new pandemic or new wave of virus is likely to be very low, if not zero,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, the WHO’s director-general, in a statement.
“The world is already experiencing the impacts of the pandemic that started in 2013, and the virus is spreading.
The potential for this pandemic to occur again is very low.”
The CDC has been warning for months that countries that have not been on the front lines of a pandemia could become a new target of the virus, with many people unable to leave their homes.
In the meantime, the virus has killed at least 14,000 people worldwide, including 4,600 in the United States.
The virus has been blamed for causing a massive spike in coronavirus cases in several nations in recent months, including the United Kingdom, where coronaviruses are believed to be responsible for more than a third of all new cases.
Since the start of the new pandemic, the United Nations has warned the virus could be even more lethal than it is now, with the virus expected to be even harder to contain than it has been.