What dangerous diseases could lurk around the world in 2019? The World Health Organization has a list with the biggest threat this year so far, and among the ones we already assumed to be on the list, one of them is ridiculous but real.
In the list from WHO, we saw Ebola – which had various outbreaks in 2018, and dengue which infects almost 390 million people per year.
Anti-Vaxxers on the List of 2019 Major World Threats
What we’d never expect to see is a preventable issue: anti-vaxxers. Yes, they are officially on the WHO lists and considered big threats to world health. And it makes sense just by looking at the measles resurgence in Europe last year which affected over 41,000 people in 2018 compared to over 5,000 people in 2016.
The anti-vaccine movement is now considered a threat, placed on a list of diseases as threats to the world’s health, writes the WHO release:
Vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases. Some countries that were close to eliminating [diseases] have seen a resurgence.
The release added why it’s so important to get vaccinated, not just to avoid disease, but also to avoid deaths and the spreading of diseases:
Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.
One of the Threats Highly Unpredictable
On the WHO list, the report stated which are the threats they try to tackle in 2019.
Air pollution and climate change are a great risk to health.
Non-communicable diseases like chronic illnesses – cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are the ones that cause 70% of deaths worldwide. According to WHO, the disease rose because of the use of alcohol and tobacco, unhealthy foods and air pollution.
The WHO wrote about a highly unpredictable threat: an influenza pandemic:
The world will face another influenza pandemic – the only thing we don’t know is when it will hit and how severe it will be. Global defences are only as effective as the weakest link in any country’s health emergency preparedness and response system.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.