It would be foolish in any way to discount the potential impact of these diseases. But a much greater health concern looms on the horizon and risks being overlooked. It is diabetes and it is far more certain than bird flu to prematurely claim millions of lives. Similarly, diabetes-related deaths in Asia over the next few decades will dwarf those caused by HIV/AIDS.
Sound like a stretch?
Not according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has just released a report claiming chronic diseases, dominated by diabetes, now cause twice the number of deaths than infectious diseases (including HIV), maternal/perinatal conditions and nutritional deficiencies combined.