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His latest comments come just months after the Microsoft founder announced details of a major project to tackle the Zika virus.The deadly flu virus attacked more than one-third of the world's population, and within months had killed more than 65 million people - three times as many as the World War I - and did it more quickly than any other illness in recorded history.He said: 'At the top of the list of things I worry about, the risk of a very serious pandemic is quite substantial.'If you say what could kill 10 million people – yes a war could, but a pandemic is probably even more likely to come and surprise us in that way.' The documentary, which will be broadcast on the Discovery Channel, looked into the recent Zika virus epidemic that struck more than 70 countries.Researchers on the programme also warned of the danger of dengue virus, known to be spreading rapidly throughout the world.
Speaking on the documentary, titled Mosquito, Mr Gates said millions are adamant such outbreaks only occur in third-world countries.While growing populations in these dense areas and the increasing ease of global travel mean the danger of a pandemic looms large if a virus was to break out - of which the likelihood is growing.Bill Gates' latest comments come just months after the Microsoft founder announced details of a major project to tackle the Zika virus.Emerging diseases pose the biggest problem, since they involve unknown pathogens with no existing vaccinations.
The most dangerous are highly contagious but have delayed symptom onset, meaning that infected people unwittingly spread the disease to many others before realizing they are sick.In 2003, Sars – a serious form of pneumonia – spread to six of the world's seven continents within months, infecting an estimated 8,000 people and killing 750.