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12 March 2018, 01:58 | Randall Craig
DISEASE X warning: Deadly pathogen added to mass killer list with GLOBAL pandemic feared
That's according to scientists making up a WorldHealth Organisation (WHO) expert committee, who have added Disease X to a list of conditions with the potential to become global pandemics.
The review, which was released overnight, lists the disease alongside Zika, Ebola, SARS and Lassa fever as the viruses with the potential to cause a public health emergency.
This year, for the first time, the World Health Organization added Disease X to the list, in an acknowledgment of the fact it's highly probable another pathogen will soon be added to this record - and by increasing awareness of that probability, it may actually boost research efforts to combat the imminent, unknown, threat.
The disease could come to fruition various routes, including because of biological fighting or as the aftereffect of the sudden spread of a virus like the "Spanish influenza" which influenced extensive parts of the world and is thought to have executed no less than 40 million individuals in 1918-1919.
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. "They ought to be observed painstakingly and thought about again at the next yearly survey".
The health organization is trying to acknowledge that such types of deadly contagious diseases are uncertain and unforeseeable.
The WHO hopes to improve disease surveillance and the capacity of local health systems, which would help to detect an outbreak quickly.
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.
"This is not an exhaustive list, nor does it indicate the most likely causes of the next epidemic", the World Health Organization said.
The WHO says it omitted several groups of diseases, such as hemorrhagic fevers and emergent non-polio enteroviruses from its priority list.
The R&D Blueprint explicitly seeks to enable R&D preparedness that is relevant for an unknown "Disease X".
"It may seem odd to be adding an "X" but the point is make sure we prepare and plan flexibly in terms of vaccines and diagnostic tests". "It is vital that we are aware and prepare". This is why is it more probable that new diseases will rise, yet, current travel and trade influence it substantially, so it means that they are even more likely to spread.
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