WHO Warns of Mysterious and Deadly New Epidemic Disease X

Henrietta Brewer
March 12, 2018

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.

Scientists warn that an unknown "Disease X" poses a major health risk and could cause a "serious global epidemic" in the future.

Despite its name, disease X is not spread around by one group of highly-gifted mutant children in both comic and film.

For the purposes of the R&D Blueprint, the WHO developed a special tool for determining which diseases and pathogens to prioritize for research and development in public health emergency contexts.


Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious global epidemic could be caused by a pathogen now unknown.

World Health Organization committee scientific adviser John-Arne Rottingen believes the next major outbreak of disease will be something humanity has not seen before.

Disease X "represents the knowledge that a serious worldwide 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 to Fmake sure we prepare and plan flexibly in terms of vaccines and diagnostic tests".

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. "It is vital that we are aware and prepare".


More importantly, this list of diseases are ones to avoid. Or, on the other hand, it may be brought forth by a terror attack, or just by a simple accident.

The idea behind the fact that the Disease X is included on the list is not meant to frighten individuals, yet to goad public health authorities into ensuring that they are set up for all kinds of dangers, not only the anticipated ones.

This is important, because it is primary care systems - local doctors and nurses - that provide the best bet of detecting the outbreak of a new disease early and containing it before it spreads. However, it also warned that these pathogens still pose a serious risk to public health, and should be "watched carefully".

World Health Organization said existing drugs and vaccines need further improvement for several of the diseases considered but not included in the priority list.


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