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
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.
- 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