The richest man in the world claims that, within a span of 250 days, 33 million people could be wiped out. Bill Gates said's, “I rate the chance of a nuclear war within my lifetime as being fairly low. It’s also not a “big volcanic explosion, gigantic earthquake, [or an] asteroid, because the probability is very low" So what’s going to kill us? Gates predicts a virus or some sort of outbreak:
I rate the chance of a widespread epidemic, far worse than Ebola
According to the modeling, it’s going to be difficult to control the spread of an epidemic because about 50 times more people cross borders today than in 1918, when 100 million were infected with the Spanish flu. And if they harbor new diseases, those will cross the borders with them
We’ve created, in terms of spread, the most dangerous environment that we’ve ever had in the history of mankind
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Gates also said's, " bioterrorist attack which could wipe out 30 million people is becoming increasingly likely, because it is easier than ever to create & spread deadly pathogens"
“Whether the next epidemic is unleashed by a quirk of nature or the hand of terrorist, scientists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year. So the world does need to think about this.”
Mr Gates said that today’s widespread global travel mean that a future pandemic could be even more deadly than the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1919 which killed up to 100 million people. “We will have epidemics in the next 20 years far worse than the abola epidemic, or the Zika epidemic & there is some chance it would be a form of flu,” he said.
“Something that is human-to-human respiratory that is like a measles or a flu or smallpox, that you need just one person on the bus or plane or the airport. A health crisis somewhere is a health crisis everywhere"
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Researchers from the University of New South Wales, Australia have mapped the recent emergence of new influenza strains, showing 19 separate strains detected in the past century, with seven of those only showing up in the past five years. With more potentially fatal flu viruses being detected, the study’s leaders have called for greater international collaboration and warned the world to be prepared
One of the study’s leaders, director of UNSW’s Integrated Systems for Epidemic Response, said suggested climate change and urbanization could be contributing factors. “Some of the reasons involve things like climate change and its impact on pathogens, changes like urbanization, but none of these things have increased at the rate the virus is increasing so there’s something else going on,” she told Fairfax Media.
The study said there was an increased emergence in flu strains being transferred from birds to humans over the past decade, blaming growth in the poultry industry and “increased urbanization”. The studies authors recommended “pandemic preparedness measures” across the world, focusing on “zoonotic disease emergence”, meaning the transfer of animal diseases which could also affect humans.
Low-income countries which are undergoing rapid commercialization of their poultry sector were found to be at highest risk of harboring fast-spreading strains, and were unlikely to detect nor adequately control their spread (6 April 2017 news.com.au)