COVID-19 pandemic 'not necessarily the big one,' top WHO official says

COVID-19 has infected at least 81 million people and killed more than 1.7 million worldwide. While the toll of this pandemic has been severe, it is "not necessarily the big one," a top World Health Organization official warned this week, according to The New York Times. 

Mike Ryan, MD, executive director of WHO's emergencies program, said this pandemic has served as a "wake up call" for leaders during a Dec. 28 media briefing. 

"These threats will continue," Dr. Ryan said. "If there's one thing we need to take from this pandemic with all the tragedy and loss is that we need to get our act together. We need to get ready for something that may even be more severe in the future."

Dr. Ryan said the world's leaders and health experts have improved how they communicate with each other and govern during the pandemic, but warned more preparations must be made to better prepare for future pandemics.

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More articles on public health:

2 million Americans have been vaccinated; House passes bill for $2K stimulus checks — 6 COVID-19 updates
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COVID-19 death rates by state: Dec. 29


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