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On high alert: Experts urge vigilance and preparedness against mysterious "Disease X"

The world faced unprecedented challenges due to the emergence of COVID-19, resulting in a significant loss of life. Scientists have worked diligently to develop a vaccine to combat the rapidly spreading virus since its initial outbreak in 2019. It took three years for the world to return to normalcy. 

However, scientists remain cautious about the potential for future outbreaks, particularly following a recent statement by the World Health Organization's (WHO) director-general warning that the world must prepare for the next pandemic, which could be even more lethal than COVID-19. This declaration has sparked renewed interest in the WHO's website, specifically the list of 'priority diseases' that could potentially cause the next devastating pandemic. 'Disease X' has been raising concerns.

Only a few days ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that COVID-19 no longer posed a global emergency. However, experts are now expressing concerns about the potential emergence of a new 'Disease X' that could lead to an even more devastating pandemic.

As per the WHO's statement, "Disease X signifies the understanding that a severe worldwide epidemic could arise from a pathogen that is presently unidentified in terms of causing illness in humans."

Experts suggest that 'Disease X' could have a zoonotic nature, originating from wild or domestic animals and subsequently infecting humans. Previous deadly outbreaks like Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and COVID-19 were also zoonotic. There are also concerns about the possibility of the next pandemic being caused by bioterrorism. Some public health experts believe that an engineered pathogen released either through laboratory accidents or as an act of bioterrorism could lead to a catastrophic 'Disease X.'

Additionally, there is speculation about the release of ancient "zombie" viruses that have remained dormant in permafrost or other frozen environments for centuries. These viruses could be unleashed due to the effects of climate change.

At present, health experts are advocating for heightened surveillance and increased funding to be allocated toward developing countermeasures.


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