British prime minister urges nations to prepare for disease outbreaks

British Prime Minister David Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron laid out his country's new plan for fighting outbreaks and the spread of deadly viruses at the recent G-7 meeting in Germany 

The new plan focuses on deeper research, more development of preventive measures and better response by international health agencies.

Cameron said the world has to become much better prepared for potential health pandemics as they could be even more aggressive and harder to stem than the recent Ebola outbreak.

"The recent Ebola outbreak was a shocking reminder of the threat we all face from a disease outbreak," Cameron said Sunday. "Despite the high number of deaths and devastation to the region, we got on the right side of it this time thanks to the tireless efforts of local and international health workers.

"But the reality is that we will face an outbreak like Ebola again and that virus could be more aggressive and more difficult to contain," Cameron said. "It is time to wake up to that threat."

Cameron urged the leaders to make preparations for such outbreaks a high priority.

"As a world we must be far better prepared with better research, more drug development and a faster and more comprehensive approach to how we fight these things when they hit," Cameron said. "The UK will lead the way, but we need a truly global response if we are to face down this threat."

The UK plan includes breakthrough drug development, more transparency, greater cooperation and development of a rapid reaction unit.