Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

World set for new disease worse than Ebola and SARS

World set for new disease worse than Ebola and SARS

The illness - now given the name Disease X - has the potential to spread quickly, and any cures or countermeasures are now severely lacking.

The World Health Organisation [WHO] has put scientists and health workers around the globe on alert for a new and potentially deadly pathogen - Disease X.

Ultimately, the WHO said that each of the eight diseases in its priority list pose "major public health risks", and require further research and development efforts, "including surveillance and diagnostics..."

Code-named "Disease X", this mystery pathogen hasn't even been discovered yet, but the looming threat of its nearly certain inevitability has secured it a place on the WHO's "most dangerous" list: a catalogue of potential future epidemics for which countermeasures are insufficient - or don't exist at all.

"Disease X speaks to the information that a genuine global scourge could be caused by a pathogen at present obscure to cause human disease", World Health Organization said on its website.

By placing this mystery illness on the "List of Blueprint priority diseases", alongside conditions such as MERS and the Marburg Virus, WHO acknowledges that infectious diseases can happen anytime, and are highly unpredictable.

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"It may seem unusual to be adding an 'X, ' but the point is make sure we prepare and plan flexibly in terms of vaccines and diagnostic tests", Rottingen told the newspaper.

Disease X "presents the knowledge" that a serious global epidemic could be caused "by a pathogen now unknown to cause human disease", an excerpt of the review said. "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", he added.

February 6-7, 2018 was the 3rd time the World Health Organization convened this committee of experts in viruses, bacteria and infectious disease to consider potential epidemics and pandemics. Ebola, salmonella, and HIV are believed to be zoonoses.

"It is probably the greatest risk". Or, on the other hand, it may be brought forth by a terror attack, or just by a simple accident.

Not a great deal is known about the disease yet, although World Health Organization warns that Disease X needed to be included on the list because of its unpredictable nature. "They should be watched carefully and considered again at the next annual review".

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