Disease X is more dangerous than Covid-19, could affect 50 million lives, ‘be alert’, says expert


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Health experts are raising concerns about disease X after Covid-19. They say there could be 50 million casualties.

Disease X designated by WHO after COVID-19 (Image courtesy: Freepik)
Disease X designated by WHO after COVID-19 (Image courtesy: Freepik)

As COVID-19 has become a recurring and familiar health concern, healthcare professionals in the UK are now preparing for a possible new pandemic known as “Disease XThese experts are warning that this new virus has the potential to be as devastating as the Spanish flu of 1918-1920.

Health experts are raising concerns about “Disease X” after the World Health Organization introduced the term. They are warning that this potential pandemic could result in 20 times more deaths than the coronavirus. In 2020, the world witnessed the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which tragically claimed more than 2.5 million lives worldwide.

At a meeting on November 18, 2022, the World Health Organization announced that more than 300 scientists will review evidence on more than 25 virus families and bacteria, including the mysterious “Disease X.” The term “Disease X” is used to denote an unknown pathogen that could potentially cause a significant international epidemic. These experts will recommend a list of priority pathogens that require further research and investment. The selection process will consider scientific and public health factors, as well as criteria related to socioeconomic impact, access and equity.

Disease X May Cause 50 Million Deaths According to expert estimates, Disease X is likely to cause about 50 million deaths. Kate Bingham emphasizes this by comparing the flu epidemic of 1918-19, which killed at least 50 million people worldwide, more than double the number killed in World War I. , stating, “Today, we can expect similar deaths from one of the many viruses that already exist.”

Kate Bingham emphasized the need for extensive preparation for a large-scale vaccination campaign, with a focus on rapid vaccine delivery. He also pointed out that while scientists have identified 25 virus families that contain thousands of individual viruses, there is a vast pool of millions of viruses, any one of which could potentially turn into a pandemic. Is.

Reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic, he noted that despite its significant impact, which led to more than 20 million deaths worldwide, the majority of those infected eventually recovered. He then painted a grim picture of Disease X, likening it to measles in terms of contagion, while the death rate is higher than Ebola’s 67 percent. He warned that anywhere in the world, Disease X could spread, and it was only a matter of time before someone got sick.

First Published: 26 Sep 2023, 16:20 IST

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