FEBRUARY 10, 2018 / 7:14 AM / 2 DAYS AGO

World must act faster to prevent pandemic diseases - U.N. risk chief

Michael Taylor

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The world must ramp up efforts to prevent huge infectious disease outbreaks - such as flu strains that can jump from animals to humans - which could kill millions of people, the chief of the U.N.’s disaster risk agency said on Saturday.
Different strains of bird flu spread across Europe, Africa and Asia over the last year, leading to large-scale slaughtering of poultry in certain countries and some human deaths in China.

The number of viral strains circulating and causing infections have reached unprecedented levels, experts say.

Their greatest fear is that a deadly strain of avian flu could then mutate into a pandemic form that can be passed easily between people - something that has not yet been seen.

“This could lead to millions of deaths globally,” said Glasser...