A few days ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, experts are already warning of a new pandemic threat: Disease X.
Disease X is a hypothetical pathogen that could cause a severe global pandemic. It is unknown what Disease X might be, but experts believe it could be as deadly as the Spanish flu, which killed an estimated 50 million people in 1918-1919.
Here are 7 important facts to know about Disease X:
- It is a hypothetical pathogen. Disease X is not a real virus or bacteria. It is a placeholder for a new pathogen that could emerge in the future and cause a severe pandemic.
- It is unknown what Disease X might be. Disease X could be a new virus, bacteria, or fungus. It could also be a mutation of an existing pathogen.
- Disease X could be extremely deadly. Experts believe Disease X could be 20 times deadlier than COVID-19.
- Disease X could spread quickly around the world. In today’s globalized world, diseases can spread quickly from one country to another. This means that Disease X could potentially cause a pandemic within a matter of weeks or months.
- There is no vaccine or treatment for Disease X. Because Disease X is a hypothetical pathogen, there is no vaccine or treatment available.
- The world is not prepared for Disease X. The world is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that healthcare systems and public health infrastructure may not be able to cope with a new pandemic.
- We need to invest in pandemic preparedness. The best way to protect ourselves from Disease X is to invest in pandemic preparedness. This includes developing new vaccines and treatments, strengthening healthcare systems, and improving public health infrastructure. WHO is working with a close group of scientists called the “R&D Blueprint Scientific Advisory Group.” According to them, Disease X was called an ‘unknowable pathogen’ in February 2018 and can has the potential to cause a future epidemic.
- A woman in the remote town of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, recently showed symptoms of hemorrhagic fever. She was tested for several diseases, but all the test reports came back negative. Scientists fear that this could be a symptom of a potentially new and fatal virus. The situation sparked fears amid speculations- What if she was the patient zero of ‘Disease X’. It raised several questions about the deadly virus.
- Medical health experts believe this deadly infection may either evolve in wild, domestic animals and then infected humans.
- Since yellow fever-the first zoonotic virus was first identified in 1901. Experts say that the rising number of emerging viruses is largely the result of ecological destruction and wildlife trade.
Disease X is a serious threat, but it is important to remember that it is still hypothetical. We do not know when or if Disease X will emerge. However, we can take steps to prepare for a new pandemic by investing in pandemic preparedness.