While humanity still struggles to get COVID-19 under control, British scientist Richard Dawkins is already warning of the next pandemic. Many deadly diseases begin in animals, such as Covid and Ebola, before moving on to humans.
These diseases which are interchangeable between species are known as zoonotic diseases, and as humanity encroaches more into the animal kingdom, future pandemics are more than likely.
Evolutionary biologist Dr Dawkins said action needs to be taken now in order to minimise the damage from the next pandemic.
Dr Dawkins was talking to Nick Robinson on BBC Radio 4 when he made the claims.
He said: “We need to take a warning from this virus. This may not be the last one we get and almost certainly won’t be.
“Future pandemics are very likely on the way, usually escaping from other species as this almost certainly was.
“I hope this will be a wake up call for humanity.”
Dr Dawkins, 80, said world leaders need to take more action in order to prevent future pandemics.
He also said scientists need to learn from the current outbreak and carry out more research.
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Dr Dawkins is not the only authoritative figure to warn of future pandemics.
Billionaire Bill Gates has recently said that COVID-19 will not be the last of deadly disease outbreaks.
In an interview with science journalist Derek Muller on his Veritasium YouTube channel, Mr Gates said: “Certainly there will be more pandemics.
“Because of the way humans interact with other species, these viruses cross the species barrier, be it from bats or monkeys.”