A woman in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa was showing symptoms of communicable fever. However, this fever is spreading from person to person through sneezing or physical contact. The woman was tested for many diseases like Ebola, Covid-19, etc., but all the tests were negative.
What is Disease X?
Scientists are in fear now about the coming of one more deadly virus. This virus is Disease X which can be more dangerous than Covid-19. Scientists wondered if she is the first patient ‘Disease X’, the first unknown infection of a new pathogen. To this, researchers said that it could be more deadly according to its spread rate and symptoms and with Ebola’s fatality rate of 50-90 percent.
Disease X, termed by World Health Organization is a new deadly virus coming from the African tropical Rainforest. X here stands for the ‘unexpected’ as it is totally unexpected that it is more fatal than the ongoing Covid-19. Disease X is hypothetical as of now as researches are going on whether it will lead to a serious disease or not.
The most recent virus that emerged from the African Rainforest was Ebola in 1976. The scientist who is helped in discovering this virus warned against an unknown no. of new viruses to be faced by humanity in the future. However, Disease X is among them.
“We are now in an era of the world where new pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms) are coming out. And that’s what is a threat for humanity”Professor Jean- Jacques Muyembe Tamfum
He leads the National Institute of Biomedical Research in Kinshasa, backed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and WHO. In these labs, the early detection of new diseases takes place. He said in a report that
“If a pathogen emerges from Africa, it will take time to spread all over the world. So, if we detect this virus early in Africa, there will be an opportunity for the rest of the world to develop new preventions to fight these new pathogens”Professor Jean- Jacques Muyembe Tamfum
WHO on Zoonotic diseases
WHO warned of many diseases that could come from animals to humans called Zoonotic Diseases in the future. Some of them were rabies, yellow fever, HIV-AIDS, etc. have caused pandemics and epidemics.
” A serious international epidemic could happen by a pathogen which is currently unknown to cause human disease”World Health Organization (WHO)
In 2018, WHO published its global plan for increasing research and development in health emergencies. Also, it prioritized nine diseases that lacked effective vaccine or drug-like Disease X, MERS-CoV, SARS, Ebola virus Disease Etc. One of them is Covid -19, which killed around 1.8 million people and we all still are fighting!
Do check our other article: 9 reasons why Bhutan is unlike any country in the World