Monday, 24 September, 2018

World Health Organisation warns of mystery killer Disease X

WHO discovers new killer pathogen is 'Disease X' 1032018 World Health Organisation warns of mystery killer Disease X
Anna Jefferson | 12 March, 2018, 07:36

Disease X was listed by the World Health Organization as one of eight priority diseases.

But the mystery threat has not been placed on the list to scare the public.

The best way of thinking about it is that "Disease X" is a placeholder for a contagious hazard we haven't encountered yet, but which is virtually certain.

"There is a need to assess the value, where possible, of developing countermeasures for multiple diseases or for families of pathogens", it said.

According to experts, Disease X, in all probabilities will be man-made.

Disease X speaks for the information that a genuine global epidemy could be caused by a pathogen, which at present is unknown.

The WHO says that diseases such as Ebola, Zika, Lassa fever as well as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have all caused outbreaks in the past few years. 'Not just the predictable diseases, ' said the World Health Organization during the second annual review on February 7, 2018.

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John-Arne Rottingen, chief executive of the Research Council of Norway and a scientific adviser to the World Health Organization committee says that the next big outbreak is going to be something that the scientists have not seen before.

This is the first time that Disease X has made the list, during a convention of experts on viruses, bacteria and infectious diseases.

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

The goal behind including "Disease X" as the 9th disease is not to scare everyone, but to spur public health officials into action to prepare for every infectious disease threat. This disease could also be hatched by big events like a terrorist act, or smaller incidences like auto accidents.

"The intensity of animal and human contact is becoming much greater as the world develops", WHO scientific adviser Marion Koopmans explained to The Telegraph.

HIV is believed to have jumped from chimpanzees to humans and has killed 35 million people since the 1980s.

"It's a natural process and it is vital that we are aware and prepare". This is why is it more probable that new diseases will rise, yet, current travel and trade influence it substantially, so it means that they are even more likely to spread.

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