WHO head warns infectious diseases to rise more easily in future
HONG KONG (AFP) - The head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Thursday that infectious diseases will spread more easily in the future due to globalisation, changing lifestyles and rising population densities.
"The future looks very bright for microbes, not so good for humanity," Margaret Chan told a luncheon in her hometown Hong Kong, the site of a major outbreak of the Sars virus in 2003 that killed almost 300 people in the city.
Higher population density, industrialisation of food production and the increase in international travel have provided many opportunities for communicable diseases to spread, she said.
"Given this unstable and unpredictable situation, only one generalisation is possible - there will definitely be more new diseases capable of causing outbreaks in humans," Dr Chan said at the event organised by the Asia Society.