G7 and WHO simulate smallpox pandemic in exercise

G7 and WHO simulate smallpox pandemic in exercise

05/19/2022 17:58 (act 05/19/2022 17:58)

With the global pandemic pact, outbreaks must be detected more quickly in the future

With the global pandemic pact, outbreaks must be detected more quickly in the future ©APA

To better combat future pandemics, the G7 countries and the World Health Organization (WHO) will simulate a smallpox pandemic in an exercise.

It is about “finding out whether lessons have been learned from the mistakes of the past”, German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) said on Thursday in Berlin, at the start of consultations between health ministers from the seven main industrialized countries. .

It will be a very realistic exercise, assuming a smallpox pandemic could develop from a leopard bite, Lauterbach said. In the simulation, the smallpox pandemic mainly affects young people.

“Not a pure theory”

Animal smallpox being transmitted to humans “is not a pure theory,” Lauterbach said, citing several smallpox cases that have been reported in the UK, Spain and Portugal in recent days. British Health Minister Sajid Javid will report on this during the G7 ministerial meeting, Lauterbach announced. So-called zoonoses are an “increasing threat,” he warned.

In Berlin, health ministers are discussing a global pandemic pact that will make it possible to identify outbreaks more quickly in the future and respond to them more effectively.