No country is fully prepared to deal with the next global pandemic, a major report claims.
Scientists claim that an epidemic of flu-like illness could sweep the entire planet in 36 hours and kill tens of millions because of our ever-traveling population.
But a review of health systems already in existence around the world found that only 13 countries had the resources to fight the "inevitable" pandemic.
Among the countries classified in
But given how quickly the outbreak can spread, experts warn even these countries are fighting to curb the disease.
A world map shows areas that have been most, more and least prepared for a global pandemic. Greenland (gray) not studied
A security worker disinfects an ambulance carrying ambulance patient in Congo DR Congo Considerations that the epidemic response so far has been "grossly insufficient"
Most of the EU-28, including Spain, Germany, Italy, Austria and Norway, are considered "more prepared" below the level of the UK and US .
Whereas most of Africa is considered to be the 'least prepared' of all countries due to poor immunization.
The sobering report known as the Global Health Security Index (GHS) was prepared by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Uni Center for Health Security and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).
In their recommendations, the team stated that governments should limit money on introducing drugs and do routine simulation exercises.
They also called for more private investment in countries' pandemic preparations and said the UN should do more to co-ordinate responses across international borders.
Scientists have evaluated how countries around the world will deal with an inevitable pandemic by considering a number of factors.
Income, border security, health systems, as well as political, socio-economic and environmental risk factors that can
The average overall score of the index is just over 40 out of a possible 100. Scientists say this indicates " to major weaknesses in preparedness. "
TOP 10 COUNTRIES, BEST PREPARED
United States – 83.5
United Kingdom – 77.9
Netherlands – 75.6
Australia – 75.5
Canada – 75.3  19659002] Sweden – 72.1
Denmark – 70.4
South Korea – 70.2
Finland – 68.7
TOP 10 COUNTRIES, MOST PREPARED
Equatorial Guinea – 16.2
Finland ] North Korea – 17.5
Sao Tome and Principe – 17.7  – 18.2
Yemen – 18. 5
Kiribati – 19.2
Syria – 19.9
Guinea-Bissau – 20
Gabon – 20
But they found that even among the estimated 60 high-income countries, they were average so the result is only 50  wrote in their report, the researchers say: "The index, which serves as a barometer for global readiness is based on the central principle: the threat anywhere is everywhere threat.
'Deadly infectious diseases can travel quickly; increased global mobility by air travel means that the disease epidemic in one country can spread around the world in a few hours. "
The report comes a month after a group headed by a former head of the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a stark warning that X was on the horizon.
The report, called A World At Risk, outlines ongoing efforts to prepare for outbreaks. Crises such as Ebola are "extremely insufficient".
He is headed by Dr. Gro Harlem Brundland, a former Norwegian Prime Minister and Director-General of the WHO,
He states in the report: "a worldwide pandemic threat is real.
"The rapidly developing pathogen has the potential to kill tens of millions of people, disrupt economies and destabilize national security."
He claims that previous recommendations on the threat of a global pandemic have been largely ignored by world leaders  The team compiled a world map listing the possible infections that could cause a hypothetical outbreak.
They were divided into "newly emerged" and "re-emerging / resurrected". Among the first were Ebola, Zika and Nipa viruses and five types of flu.
And the latter includes West Nile virus, antibiotic resistance, measles, acute cold myelitis, yellow fever, dengue, plague and human monkey. ] The report cited the damage caused by the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic and said that modern advances in international travel would help the disease spread more rapidly.
A century ago, the Spanish flu pandemic infected one-third of the world's population and killed 50 million people.  But the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa has claimed the lives of more than 11,000 people.
Another epidemic of the deadly virus has killed 2100 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the casualties are increasing.
Leo Abruzze, a senior global advisor at The Economist Intelligence Unit who helped draft the report, said the report helps identify important gaps in global preparedness.
"Without a way to identify gaps in Tem systems, we are much more vulnerable than we need to be," he said.
"The index is specific enough to provide a roadmap for how countries can respond, and provide donors and funders with tools to target their resources. "