WHO Warns Against Mysterious Disease X

The World Health Organisation has revealed in a statement, a mysterious “Disease X ”, capable of causing a global pandemic in the future.

The organisation released a list of diseases it considers posing a high risk to the public due to their potential to spark an epidemic and the limited treatment available to combat them .

This came from an expert committee set up by the organisation , to identify pathogens with the ability to spread and kill many people without any available remedies .

Viruses such as Ebola , Zika , Lassa fever and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , which have raged in recent years , are included as serious threats .

However , WHO has included Disease X in its priority list for the first time this year after a review by health experts in February .

Disease X is not a newly discovered threat , but an imaginary virus , which could emerge in the future and cause widespread infection across the globe .

“Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease ,” WHO said in a statement.

It added that healthcare officials were planning for a currently unidentified threat now to ensure research and development preparedness .

“History tells us that it is likely the next big outbreak will be something we have not seen before ”, John -Arne Rottingen , chief executive of the Research Council of Norway and a scientific adviser to the WHO committee , told The Telegraph of the UK

“It may seem strange to be adding an ‘X ’ but the point is to make sure we prepare and plan flexibly in terms of vaccines and diagnostic tests .

“We want to see ‘plug and play ’ platforms developed, which will work for any , or a wide number of diseases ; systems that will allow us to create countermeasures at speed . ”

Rottingen said Disease X could come from a variety of sources , although it was most likely developed through zoonotic transmission , where an infectious disease , which usually afflicted animals , jumped to humans .

Ebola and salmonella infection are both zoonosis , as well as HIV , thought to have been transferred to humans from chimpanzees and monkeys in the early 20 th Century .


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