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What is Disease X?
Any disease with the potential to spread to a pandemic is designated as Disease X. There may be no recognised cure for this "Disease X," which could be a novel agent, virus, bacteria, or fungus. The WHO has grouped Disease X with Zika, COVID-19, Ebola, Lassa fever, Nipah, and Middle East respiratory sickness (MERS).
The World Health Organisation has issued an alert regarding a possible Disease X pandemic. According to WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, the next pandemic would be 20 times more deadly than the COVID-19 epidemic. Speaking at the World Economic Forum 2024 in Davos, the WHO Chief urged countries to cooperate on the Pandemic Accords to address this "common enemy."
"There are things that are unknown that may happen, and anything happening is a matter of when, not if, so we need to have a placeholder for that, for the diseases we don't know," the head of the World Health Organisation said.
"We couldn't handle the number of people we lost during COVID. There was not enough room for them to be saved. The amount of oxygen was insufficient. He went on, "So how can you have a system that can expand when the need comes?"
The UN health organisation has already begun to put plans in place to deal with the possibility of a Disease X breakout, Dr. Ghebreyesus continued. WHO is also setting up a "technology transfer hub" and a "pandemic fund" in South Africa in addition to this. "Equity was a significant issue." Numerous affluent nations were stockpiling vaccinations. We developed the mRNA technology transfer hub in South Africa in order to address the equity issue. The WHO Chief said, "This is to increase the local production."
"Disease-X" pandemic being 20 times deadlier than COVID-19. It's important to note that the term "Disease-X" is a placeholder used by the World Health Organization (WHO) to refer to a hypothetical, unknown pathogen that could cause a future epidemic or pandemic. It's not the name of a specific disease.
Disease X is defined as a hypothetical infection or threat capable of causing a major pandemic in the future. Scientists and the World Health Organisation coined the word, which may refer to any of the 25 virus families capable of causing human sickness. Disease X was added to the World Health Organization's revised Blueprint list of diseases in 2018. Scientists believe that Disease X might be 20 times more lethal than the SARS-Covid virus, which recently created a pandemic, and that further research and development is required to prevent millions of fatalities worldwide.
While Disease X is not a real concern right now, there is a risk that it will emerge in the future, and precautions must be done to reduce fatalities and suffering. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation, has warned governments to remain prepared for the potential threat. "There are things that are unknown that may happen, and anything happening is a matter of when, not if, so we need to have a placeholder for that, for the diseases we don't know," he said.
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