Disease X, termed by the World Health Organization is a new deadly virus coming from the African tropical Rainforest. X here stands for the ‘unexpected’ as it is cannot be expected 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 first case of Disease X
A woman in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa is showing symptoms of communicable fever yesterday. This fever is spreading from person to person through sneezing or physical contact. Doctors tested her for many diseases like Ebola, Covid-19, etc., but all the tests were negative. 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. Although, researchers comment that it may more deadly according to its spread rate and symptoms and with Ebola’s fatality rate of 50-90 percent.
It represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic will be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease.WHO (World Health Organisation)
About the Ebola virus Disease
The most recent virus that emerged from the African Rainforest was Ebola in 1976. The scientist who helped in discovering this virus was Professor Jean Jacques. However, he warned against an unknown no. of new viruses to be faced by humanity in the future. Disease X is among them. He said that,
We are now in an era of the world where new pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms) are coming out. And that’s what constitutes a threat to humanity.Professor Jean- Jacques Muyembe Tamfum
Professor Jean- Jacques 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.
According to him, if a pathogen emerged from Africa, it will take time to spread all over the world. So, if this virus is detected early, there will be an opportunity for Europe and the rest of the world to develop new strategies to fight these new pathogens.
Threat from Zoonotic Diseases
However, he 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.
Conversely, in 2018, the WHO published its global plan for accelerating research and development in health emergencies. Since it prioritized nine diseases that lacked effective vaccine or drug-like Disease X, Covid-19, MERS-CoV, SARS, Ebola virus Disease Etc. One of them is Covid -19, killing around 1.8 million people and we all still are fighting!
AUTHOR: Aashi Bansal
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