What is Disease X?

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

About Disease X

  • It is referred to as a hypothetical pathogen or threat that can cause a major pandemic in future.
  • It could be a new agent, a virus, a bacterium, or a fungus without any known treatment.
  • The term coined by scientists and the World Health Organization could be any of the 25 families of viruses that have the capability to cause illness in people.
  • Disease X was included in the WHO’s updated Blueprint list of diseases back in 2018.
  • Scientists are of the opinion that Disease X could be 20 times more deadly than SARS-Covid virus that caused pandemic recently.
  • It represents an illness which is currently unknown but could pose a serious microbial threat to humans in the future.

Q1) What is a pandemic?

A pandemic is an outbreak of infectious disease that occurs over a wide geographical area and that is of high prevalence. A pandemic generally affects a significant proportion of the world’s population, usually over the course of several months.

Source: The pandemic treaty can help the world brace for Disease X: WHO Director-General