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About The Disease X


Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) emphasised the urgent need for global preparedness against a potential new pandemic, referred to as ‘Disease X’.


Facts for Prelims

Disease X

Concept and Origin:
  • Hypothetical Pathogen: Disease X is a term denoting a theoretical pathogen or potential threat capable of triggering a significant pandemic in the future.
  • Diverse Nature: It may manifest as a novel agent, encompassing viruses, bacteria, or fungi, with no existing treatment or preventive measures.
WHO Recognition:
  • Blueprint List: Coined by scientists and acknowledged by the World Health Organization (WHO), Disease X finds a place in the WHO’s updated Blueprint list of diseases since 2018.
  • 25 Viral Families: It could potentially emerge from any of the 25 families of viruses known to cause diseases in humans.
Severity and Unknown Nature:
  • Potential Lethality: Scientists speculate that Disease X might surpass the lethality of recent pandemics, with estimates suggesting it could be 20 times more deadly than the SARS-Covid virus.
Future Microbial Threat:
  • Unknown but Looming Threat: Disease X embodies an ailment currently unidentified but poses a substantial microbial hazard to human health in prospective scenarios.

-Source: Down To Earth

February 2024