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


Among eight diseases, last but not the least threat is Disease X.

It added that special populations such as refugees, internally displaced populations, and victims of disasters, constitute potential victims of the listed diseases.

Code-named "Disease X", this mystery pathogen hasn't even been discovered yet, but the looming threat of its nearly certain inevitability has secured it a place on the WHO's "most dangerous" list: a catalogue of potential future epidemics for which countermeasures are insufficient - or don't exist at all.

However, Disease X is not recognized as a new killer pathogen. Disease X is such potential outbreak of new epidemic threat according to the World Health Organization. It could be triggered by "a pathogen now unknown to cause human disease".

Disease X is only different because it hasn't emerged or been identified yet.

Disease X now ranks alongside other listed illnesses like Lassa fever and Ebola which killed more than 11,000 people in Africa between 2013 and 2016. This is not a newly introduced pathogen and can be caused by a number of biological alterations such as Spanish Flu or Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

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During the recent meeting which was held in Geneva, the World Health Organization added Disease X into their Blueprint Disease list as the 9 decease that may cause a worldwide outbreak. "Just the way we didn't anticipate Zika, we didn't think there would be an Ebola that would hit cities".

Disease X could spring up from a lot of different sources and infect us via innumerable vectors, Mr. Rottingen says, although zoonotic transmission (an animal virus evolving to infect humans) is the most likely.

"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".

Chief executive at the Research Council of Norway, John-Arne Rottingen who is a scientific adviser for the World Health Organization committee said in a statement that, "History tells us that it is likely the next big outbreak will be something we have not seen before". Changing ecosystems and human habitats have the potential to see a transfer of animal diseases to humans. "It is vital that we are aware and prepare".

"For numerous diseases discussed, as well as many other diseases with the potential to cause a public health emergency, there is a need for better diagnostics", said the experts who convened in Geneva to gather the report.

"It is probably the greatest risk".