The warnings are clear – more diseases will follow the coronavirus pandemic.

At the time of writing this Spotlight, more than half a million people were known to have died from COVID-19. Although many in the science world had predicted a global outbreak, the containment response took much of the world by surprise. Economies are struggling, people are socially isolated and facing food insecurity, and the impact on other health programmes such as tuberculosis and HIV could be enormous.

In this Spotlight, SciDev.Net analyses the threat of future pandemics, and considers what plans the world needs to put in place to stop – or mitigate – the next outbreak. Our food systems, urban landscapes and vaccination programmes all come under the microscope.