Infectious diseases with a pandemic potential

Dominik Mertz

Dominik Mertz, MD, MSc, is an associate professor of medicine and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at McMaster University.

What are the most important emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in terms of the risks of international spread and pandemic potential?

I guess above and beyond the two that we are struggling with now, which are COVID-19 and monkeypox, Ebola always is one that we are concerned about. Currently [there is] a new local epidemic in Uganda, which always has the risk that there might be travelers at some point that spread it beyond Uganda.

Flu is always on my mind as well. There might be new types or subtypes emerging at some point that will travel globally very quickly, as we’ve learned with COVID-19, but we will continue to learn, as with any respiratory virus.

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