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Speaking at a conference last month, Gates claimed that the disease could spread in as little as six months, wiping out up to 30 million people in the process.
He said: “There’s one area where the world isn’t making much progress and that’s pandemic preparedness.”
Gates warned that hackers could develop weaponised diseases, and pointed out that a deadly form of smallpox could be created in a lab.
And with travel around the globe now widespread, it wouldn’t be long before such a deadly disease would spread.
At the conference, Gates played a video showing a simulation of how quickly a deadly flu strain could spread.
Worryingly, the simulation suggested that a flu could kill 30 million people in just six months.
But despite this, Gates said that governments aren’t acting fast enough.
He said: “In the case of biological threats, that sense of urgency is lacking. The world needs to prepare for pandemics in the same serious way it prepares for war.”
Thankfully, Gates said that there’s still hope.
He added that we already have antiviral drugs and antibiotics available, and that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is offering $12 million in grants to develop a universal flu vaccine.
Diagnosis is also very fast these days, meaning we could quarantine people quickly if we detect a new disease.
However, Gates claims that the key is better communication between governments and militaries.