World on Brink of New Epidemic: WHO

Global cooperation is crucial to prevent new outbreak, report concludes
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Aug 23, 2007 3:50 AM CDT
Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Margaret Chan, left, shakes hands with Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Brasilia, Monday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A new global epidemic is likely on the horizon with fresh diseases cropping up at a record pace and billions of air travelers in motion to spread an illness with alarming speed, the World Health Organization warned yesterday. The AIDS or Ebola of tomorrow could be just around the corner unless countries cooperate to prevent outbreaks, said the United Nations organization.

Health security depends on nations sharing information on diseases, but that's not always the case, the BBC reports. Indonesia officials are currently refusing  to hand over data on bird flu virus samples until they receive guarantees that vaccines will be affordable. WHO currently gathers half of its outbreak alerts from the media. (Read more World Health Organization stories.)