Bill Gates concerned about flu epidemic over next decade

In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme former Microsoft chief Bill Gates highlighted his concerns about a possible flu pandemic.

Speaking to guest editor Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer, the billionaire philanthropist said that we are “a bit vulnerable right now” to a fatal flu pandemic.

Bill Gates explained his view :

“There’s a lot of discussion right now about how do we respond in an emergency. How do we make sure that the regulatory and liability and organisational boundaries don’t slow us down there.

I cross my fingers all the time that some epidemic like a big flu doesn’t come along in the next 10 years.

I do think we’ll have much better medical tools, much better response. But we are a bit vulnerable right now if something that spread very quickly like a flu that was quite fatal.

That would be a tragedy and new approaches should allow us to reduce that risk a lot.”

Sally Davies responded :

“Yes I agree. Interestingly we have just been practising a nasty flu in this country and for all we practice a lot we realise we need to do more.”

Dr Davies went on to say that although in the UK┬áthe NHS was “pretty well prepared” it would take at least six months from the start of a flu pandemic to get an effective vaccine.


  • BBC Radio 4 Today – Bill Gates : We are vulnerable to flu epidemic in next decade [30 Dec 2016]