Just at a time when the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has killed millions has come to an end, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of an even more deadly virus called ‘Disease X’. The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, recently warned about this epidemic in the meeting of the World Health Assembly in Geneva. In this meeting, Tedros warned that ‘another epidemic can come anytime, which can spread terrible disease and can also kill a large number of people. We should be ready to face it collectively. WHO has identified some infectious diseases that could cause the next pandemic. These diseases include Ebola virus, Marburg, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, COVID-19, Zika and perhaps most dangerous of all, Disease X.
Disease X – A Disease or Just a Word?
What is Disease X? It is not a disease but a word. This can be the worst disease. The term Disease X is used by WHO as a placeholder to describe a disease caused by human infection, and currently unknown to medical science. ‘Disease X’ may be a disease that may turn into a terrible epidemic in the future and scientists have no idea about it.
Why the term ‘disease X’?
Corona virus was also earlier ‘Disease X’. WHO used the term ‘Disease X’ for the first time in 2018. Later, ‘Disease X’ was replaced by Kovid-19. Similarly, the next time an epidemic is detected, the existing ‘Disease X’ will be replaced by the new name for that disease.
Why are scientists worried about ‘Disease X’?
Disease X will emerge as a deadly disease in times to come, WHO chief has already said. That’s why people need to be cautious about their health from now on. There is also a concern that when the corona virus came, no medicine or vaccine was available in India for its treatment. Similarly, no medicine is being used for ‘Disease X’ at present.
Nature of the virus: Disease X will emerge from wild or domesticated animals
Experts believe that the next Disease X will be zoonotic, meaning it will originate in wild or domestic animals. Ebola, HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 were zoonotic outbreaks. However, no accurate predictions can be made about disease X at this time. At the same time, some experts regarding Disease X also believe that the next epidemic may spread due to a virus or bacteria. It is also believed that an accident in a laboratory or a biological attack can also result in disease X.
What can be done about Disease X?
There is no need for people to panic with Disease X. Medical experts around the world are taking all possible measures, research and monitoring to prevent and combat the outbreak. Overall, experts believe that the Covid-19 pandemic is not the first or the last disease to wreak havoc on the world. The world needs to prepare for the next outbreak. It is essential for scientists, researchers and policy makers to remain vigilant and keep monitoring and studying potential future threats.