World set for new disease worse than Ebola and SARS

Disease X Is On The WHO Priority Diseases List – What Is Disease X

Disease X Is On The WHO Priority Diseases List – What Is Disease X

Mr Rottingen explained Disease X could spark an epidemic if it was passed from animals to humans like HIV, which jumped from chimpanzees to humans claiming the lives of 35million people since the 1980s.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a list of priority diseases for 2018 and encourages researchers to guide their efforts towards these diseases for which there is either no treatment or insufficient treatment.

John-Arne Rottingen, a scientist and an adviser at World Health Organization, considers that the next deadly pandemic will be caused by a pathogen we know nothing about, yet.

World health experts are warning of the existence of an illness, known only as "Disease X", which has the potential to trigger a serious global epidemic.

Despite not being identified as a specific disease, the pathogen has been classed as extremely risky.

The disease joined a list that includes the Ebola virus, Respiratory Syndrome (SARS, ) Zika virus and Rift Valley fever (RVF), after an annual review by WHO.

Not a great deal is known about the disease yet, although World Health Organization warns that Disease X needed to be included on the list because of its unpredictable nature.

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The organisation has described it as representing the "knowledge that a serious worldwide epidemic could be caused by a pathogen now unknown to cause human disease".

Disease X "represents the knowledge that a serious global epidemic could be caused by a pathogen now unknown to cause human disease", the Geneva-based World Health Organization said.

"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.

As for where Disease X could come from, nobody knows for sure, but there a multitude of possible sources, including existing viruses that demonstrate new virulence and symptoms (such as Zika virus), engineered viruses escaped from laboratories or used as bioweapons, and zoonotic infections transferred from animals to humans.

"It is probably the greatest risk".

"It's a natural process and it is vital that we are aware and prepare".

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