The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of a new global pandemic. However, the pathogen is a mysterious “disease X” that, according to WHO experts, can lead to mass extinctions.
Since 2015, the WHO has published lists of pathogens that can trigger a pandemic. In addition to the already known diseases such as Ebola, Lassa fever or the Zika virus, the current list also mentions a certain “illness X”. Interestingly, they obviously do not exist yet. The WHO experts, however, assume that a still unknown pathogen at any time could provide for the outbreak of a previously ignored disease.
“History tells us that the next big outbreak is likely to be something we have not seen before,” said scientist John-Arne Rottingen.
It may indeed seem strange to include a yet unknown disease in the list, but it is about being prepared in an emergency. Experts suggest that “disease X” can be transmitted from wild animals to humans.
According to the nScience Alert portal, skilled workers are currently working on means of combating the new “Illness X” in order to be able to react quickly to dangers. According to the WHO, the new pandemic could be just as deadly to humanity as the Spanish flu of the 20th century once did. At that time, the pandemic had claimed more than 25 million lives within just two years.
There are plenty of possibilities for developing such a fatal “disease X”: starting with constantly mutating known viruses such as Zika to the so-called zoonoses – from animal to human and from human to animal infectious infectious diseases. Also artificially developed viruses – biological weapons – represent a big danger, since they could be stolen from the laboratories.