You might think that the richest man in the world would sleep pretty easy, but billionaire Bill Gates recently told Ezra Klein at Vox about the one big fear that keeps him up at night. According to Gates, the chances of a worldwide, devastating pandemic – like the Spanish Flu that wiped out nearly 5% of the world’s population in 1918 – are disconcertingly high. So high, in fact, that to fail to act on the threat right now is “reckless.”

Bill Gates, Bill Gates flu pandemic, flu pandemic, flu epidemic, disease epidemic, vaccination, importance of vaccination, World wide flu outbreak, flu outbreak, preventing pandemics, preventing flu outbreak, Bill Gates preventing flu outbreak Bill Gates and his foundation worked hard, donating time and money, to help fight the Ebola outbreak in Africa, so he is no stranger to fighting potential pandemics. And, as Gates points out, Ebola is far from the worst that we have seen in the past century. While millions were killed during World War I and II, the Spanish Flu killed just as many people. Since then, scientists have warned us over and over again that another catastrophe isn’t just possible, it’s likely, simply because diseases are our oldest, deadliest enemy. Related: Bill Gates’ Foundation Makes its Largest Donation Ever to Fight Ebola What makes an outbreak particularly concerning is that humans have increased the likelihood of a worldwide epidemic. Thanks to modern travel, underdeveloped health systems, antibiotic overuse and lower rates of vaccination, we have created an ideal climate for disease to spread. “Our focus is on the poor children where you have millions that die of vaccine-preventable disease. It’s unfortunate that you’re not getting 100-per cent coverage in the rich countries,” Gates said. People are “choosing to potentially infect somebody who can’t protect themselves.” Gates believes that we can, and should, approach disease like we would approach a war. Preperation, practice and using technology to fight the threat before it starts. Via the Daily Mail Lead image via Shutterstock, image via Shutterstock