Disease x Pandemic – What is it? Symptoms, Prevention & How dangerous is it?

The World Health Organization (WHO) created the placeholder name “Disease X” in February 2018 to stand in for an unidentified, hypothetical pathogen that might spark an epidemic in the future.

Disease x Pandemic 

After the World Economic Forum’s “Disease X” discussion, right-wing accounts took to social media to criticize the planning for the fictitious situation.

A community of over 300 scientists met in November 2022 to study the unidentified pathogen that could cause an awful international epidemic, positing a rate of death 20 times that of Covid-19. 

This hypothetical threat, known as Disease X, is the term used by scientists to promote the development of defensive measures, which include vaccines as well as tests, to be implemented in the event of a future outbreak.

What is Disease X and how dangerous is it?

The World Health Organization (WHO) developed a “R&D Blueprint for Action to Prevent Epidemics” in 2015 in an effort to shorten the interval between the discovery of a viral outbreak and the approval of a vaccine.

The most dangerous emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) with scant means of prevention were the main focus. Every year, the shortlist of fewer than ten EIDs is updated.

Notable names like Lassa fever, Marburg virus, Rift Valley fever, and Nipah virus are among the geographically specific names, along with well-known ones like Ebola, Zika, and SARS.

As a stand-in for a knowable unidentified pathogen, the WHO introduced Disease X in 2018, posing a challenge to the organization to maintain adaptable capabilities and planning. 

The objective is to create plug and play services for diagnostic tests and vaccines, with a concentration on viral infections.

In 2020, a paper was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases that broadened the term to encompass Pathogen X and identified opportunities for international coordination and product development. Remdesivir is an antiviral being tested by Gilead Sciences for potential use in Disease X.

Reader Sivir, a medication under trial to treat COVID-19, was described by The Daily Telegraph in April 2020 as an antiviral that Gilead Sciences began developing ten years earlier to treat a potential Disease X. 

Disease x Pandemic 

Research Institute for Disease X

The UK Government developed an institute of research in August 2023 to produce investigations and vaccinations for potential Disease X pathogens.

Potential Source of Disease X 

According to their potential to spread like a pandemic or the lack of available countermeasures, these pathogens are considered priority by the WHO, which also keeps a list of them.The list is given below. 

  • Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever
  • Covid-19
  • Ebola
  • Marburg
  • Lassa fever
  • Zika
  • Nipah
  • Rift Valley fever
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) 
  • Zoonotic viruses
  • Bacterial Infection 

Disease X Symptoms 

The symptoms appear suddenly and may consist of fever, cramps in the muscles, fainting, neck pain, back pain, headaches, swollen eyes, and light sensitivity. Feelings of nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and sore throat can also occur. 

Sharp swings in mood and confusion can also follow. Within a few days later, agitation can become sleepiness, anxiety, and solitude; abdominal pain is usually felt in the upper right region; and the liver can enlarge, according to the WHO. 

Additional signs and symptoms include a fast heartbeat, swelling of lymph nodes, and petechial blisters on the skin and inside surfaces of the saliva like the mouth and throat. 

If infection can grow. Hepatitis is typically present. After the fourth or fifth day of illness, patients can get organ failure.In the second week of their illness, most patients pass away. After the ninth or tenth day of sickness, most survivors start to get better.

How do we prevent the next pandemic before it begins?

By taking these preventative steps, we can lessen the effects of upcoming pandemics and increase international preparedness for newly emerging infectious diseases.

  • Make investments in surveillance
  • Advance one health
  • Promote the use of antibiotics 
  • Fortify healthcare systems
  • Encourage international collaboration
  • Create preparedness plans in order to avert the next pandemic.  

How many people die with disease x Pandemic? 

It is estimated that Disease X may kill up to 50 million people. As COVID-19 becomes a more common and recurrent health issue, UK medical professionals are now preparing for a possible new pandemic called “Disease X.” 

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