WHO Warns Of New Pandemic 'Disease X': Here's Why You Shouldn't Be Worried Yet

'Disease X' is on the global health organisation’s “priority diseases” list. But does the disease even exist?

2 min read

The World Health Organization Chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last week warned against another pandemic – a certain 'Disease X'. Since then there are multiple news reports reporting how it could be more catastrophic than COVID-19.

What is this 'Disease X'? Is it something that we should be concerned about? FIT tells you all that you need to know.

'Disease X' is on the global health organisation’s “priority diseases” list. But does the disease even exist? Maybe, maybe not.

WHO’s website states:

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

What We Know About 'Disease X'

  • Disease X is not real YET.

  • It’s a term used for potential diseases that could wreak havoc in the future. 

  • The term was coined in 2018.

  • Global organisations and experts are looking to raise funds and increase research and surveillance into “potential pandemic agents,” said the New York Post.

So far, research has shown that the pathogen could be deadly and/or lead to respiratory failure in humans.

Should We Be Concerned About It?

The WHO Director General said that we need to be prepared for potential pathogens that can lead to another pandemic and cause loss of lives. 

Scientists believe that, like previous pandemics and epidemics, 'Disease X' could also be zoonotic which means that it could be caused by germs jumping from animals to humans. 

Since there's practically no information or even any sort of clarity about the disease yet, no good will come out of panicking.

Which Other Diseases Are On WHO’s Priority List?

Apart from Disease X, the WHO’s “Priority Diseases” list includes:

  • COVID-19

  • Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever

  • Ebola 

  • Marburg 

  • Lassa fever

  • Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) 

  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

  • Nipah and henipa viral diseases

  • Rift Valley fever

  • Zika

(With inputs from the Indian Express and India Today)

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