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WHO boss warns of 'threat even deadlier' than COVID-19



Health experts have issued a warning of a "threat with even deadlier potential", three weeks after declaring the end of the COVID-19 emergency. 

Speaking at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, World Health Organisation (WHO) boss, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that though life has returned to normal, people must be prepared for "another variant emerging".

"The end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency is not the end of COVID-19 as a global health threat," Ghebreyesus said.

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"The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains.

"And the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains."

Ghebreyesus went on to explain that the world must be prepared for a response to "address emergencies of all kinds".

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The CSIRO tool analyses the entire COVID-19 genome rather than just the spike protein.

"Pandemics are far from the only threat we face," he said. But "when the next pandemic comes knocking – and it will – we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively and equitably."

The warning comes as Australians are told to brace for a "triple threat" from respiratory diseases, including a fifth wave of COVID-19, this winter.

Workplaces, schools and homes are set to be impacted by a spike in coronavirus cases as well as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and other illnesses.

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Director General of the World Health Organisation speaks about COVID-19, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

Epidemiologist Alexandra Martiniuk, of the University of Sydney, told the expected new wave of COVID-19 was not expected to be "massive" but cases were likely to add to already high levels of illness-related absenteeism in workplaces and schools.

"The figures point to a small version of previous waves during the height of the pandemic, but it looks like we're having a growing wave," she said.

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