A deadly coronavirus pandemic is already wreaking havoc on Europe, but the European Commission says a new strain could wipe the continent out.
The virus is expected to infect more than half of the EU’s population in the coming weeks.
But the European Health Agency (EHA) warns the threat of a second pandemic could be greater than the first, as a pandemic of its kind could destroy the entire continent.
It warned of an “urgent need” for emergency measures in Europe after the coronaviruses pandemic, saying there could be up to one million deaths by mid-November.
The EHA’s director, Dr Simon Murray, said the outbreak could cause mass migrations and a “tidal wave” of disease.
“We need to have a strong response to this new threat, we can’t let it go on unchecked,” he said.
There are fears that a second outbreak could leave the continent at risk of becoming a “parasitic” environment, Dr Murray said.
The first coronaviral pandemic was in 1918 when more than one million people died in the European countries of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the Netherlands.
Dr Murray said the EHA is still working out the exact number of people infected.
“If it is much higher than we thought, it means there are still tens of thousands of people affected in Europe, which means there is a high risk of spreading the disease to new populations,” he told ABC Radio.
Europe’s response to the coronas The European Commission is leading the global response to a coronavivirus outbreak.
More than 1.5 million people have been infected, with the disease spreading faster than ever before.
Experts have warned that the pandemic has left Europe in the grip of a pandemics’ nightmare.
As of November 7, the EHazards database showed more than 30,000 coronavids have been detected in Europe.
The EHA says a large number of infections have been confirmed in Europe but this does not include those that have yet to be confirmed, such as a coronivirus strain detected in Germany in December.
According to the WHO, the total number of confirmed cases and deaths is expected by mid January.
Mr Murray said it was essential for the ENA to prepare for the worst.
“We need a strong, rapid response, we need to be ready to mobilise all the resources we have,” he added.
EHA chief Dr Simon Ross said the response could take a “very long time”.
“I think it will take many months and probably longer than that,” he explained.
But he said the organisation was in the process of preparing for the next pandemic.
He said he hoped the European Union would act quickly, with “real, effective measures” to fight the virus.
Health Minister James Reilly said he was working with the EU, the US, Canada and the US to develop an emergency plan to deal with the coronavets pandemic in Europe as well as the UK’s coronavital coronavid.
A total of 17 countries have agreed to work with the EEA to help prevent future pandemias.