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Davos: Western world ‘vulnerable’ to epidemics, warns Ebola expert

  • Author:cleo
  • Source:original
  • Release on:2015-01-21

The Western world is "vulnerable" to epidemics such as Ebola, and must invest more in researching vaccines, a leading scientist has warned.

Professor Peter Piot told the BBC that developed nations would be in "deep trouble" if they failed to adequately prepare for another outbreak.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, he urged global leaders to take a "long-term view".

Public health policies must "transcend politics and borders", he said.

Prof Piot co-discovered the Ebola virus in 1976, and is now in charge of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

He said the UK was relatively well prepared for an outbreak, and praised NHS staff who travelled to West Africa to combat the recent Ebola epidemic.

The threat of Ebola, and other infectious diseases such as influenza and SARS, are set to be discussed in Switzerland this week, as politicians and business leaders from around the globe gather for the annual WEF.