WHO Lists 'Disease X' As Newest Member Of Deadliest Diseases

Alicia Farmer
March 12, 2018

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.

The report comes after the committee convened in Geneva at the World Health Organization headquarters 6th and 7th of February.

It added Disease X to the rundown after a yearly survey completed from February 6-7, cautioning that there is a "pressing need" for quickened innovative work for the maladies on the rundown.

The objective 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.

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. The first list of these priority illnesses was released in December 2015. They statement said that research and development was underway to be prepared for disease X "as far as possible".

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

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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. "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".

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

"As the ecosystem and human habitats change there is always the risk of disease jumping from animals to humans", Rottingen said.

The organization likewise thought about including various different diseases to its rundown of worldwide dangers, including arenaviral hemorrhagic fevers, Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted to humans by tainted mosquitoes, and exceptionally pathogenic coronaviral diseases.

Termed as "The known unknown", Disease X is the next potential epidemic threat to the humankind, the World Health Organization warns the world. These may however soon be included in the list, the agency said.

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