Bill Gates has warned that governments must prepare for future pandemics and smallpox terror attacks by investing billions in research and development.
The Microsoft founder also called for the formation of a new billion-dollar World Health Organisation Pandemic Task Force.
While the research may be expensive, he said that it could also lead to other innovations, such as eradicating flu and the common cold.
He said that countries like the US and the UK must spend “tens of billions” to fund the research.
“I’m hoping in five years, I can write a book called, ‘We ARE ready for the next pandemic’, but it’ll take tens of billions in R&D – the US and the UK will be part of that”, he said.
“It’ll take probably about a billion a year for a pandemic Task Force at the WHOlevel, which is doing the surveillance and actually doing what I call ‘germ games’ where you practise.”
Mr Gates suggested that the “germ-games” could include preparing for acts of bioterrorism such as smallpox attacks on airports.