Active Stocks
Wed May 29 2024 15:50:35
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 822.95 -0.96%
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 174.20 -0.37%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,507.85 -1.48%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 317.55 1.52%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 430.80 0.44%
Business News/ Science / Health/  'Disease X' could be 20 times deadlier than COVID-19, says expert. Top 10 updates
BackBack

'Disease X' could be 20 times deadlier than COVID-19, says expert. Top 10 updates

UK healthcare professionals are preparing for a potential new pandemic known as ‘Disease X,’ which could be more deadly than COVID-19, with the capacity to result in 20 times more fatalities. Disease X could potentially cause up to 50 million deaths.

FILE PHOTO: A worker in a protective suit checks the temperature of a truck driver entering the Xinfadi wholesale market, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Beijing, China February 19, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang (REUTERS)Premium
FILE PHOTO: A worker in a protective suit checks the temperature of a truck driver entering the Xinfadi wholesale market, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Beijing, China February 19, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang (REUTERS)

As COVID-19 transitions into a recurring and more familiar health concern, healthcare professionals in the UK are now gearing up for a potential new pandemic known as "Disease X." They caution that this new virus could have a similar impact to the devastating Spanish Flu of 1918-1920.

Health experts are sounding the alarm about "Disease X," a term coined by the World Health Organization. They warn that this potential new pandemic has the capacity to result in 20 times more fatalities than the coronavirus. The COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020 and has tragically claimed the lives of over 2.5 million people worldwide. Here are the top 10 points about Disease X.

1. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Kate Bingham, who served as the chair of the UK's Vaccine Taskforce from May to December 2020, expressed her belief that Disease X is expected to be considerably more perilous than COVID-19.

Also Read: ‘Disease X’ can cause a more fatal pandemic? What WHO says

2. Based on expert estimates, Disease X could potentially result in up to 50 million fatalities. "Let me put it this way: the 1918-19 flu pandemic killed at least 50 million people worldwide, twice as many as were killed in World War I. Today, we could expect a similar death toll from one of the many viruses that already exist," she told the Daily Mail.

In response to Disease X, Bingham asserted, “the world will have to prepare for mass vaccination drives and deliver the doses in record time."

3. She disclosed that while scientists have identified 25 virus families encompassing thousands of individual viruses, she holds the view that there are millions of viruses yet to be discovered, and these have the potential to evolve into pandemics.

Also Read: What is ‘Disease X’? Why top experts are warning of another COVID-like pandemic?

4. "In a sense, we got lucky with Covid-19, despite the fact that it caused 20 million or more deaths across the world. The point is that the vast majority of people infected with the virus managed to recover. Imagine Disease X is as infectious as measles with the fatality rate of Ebola [67%]. Somewhere in the world, it's replicating, and sooner or later, somebody will start feeling sick."

5. The rise in outbreaks, according to Bingham, is attributed to the growing trend of more people congregating in urban areas. She also emphasizes that the continual destruction of millions of acres of natural habitat each year is contributing to this increase.

Also Read: WHO identifying potential pandemic pathogens

6. "This reason is particularly important, because around three-quarters of emerging infectious diseases originate in animals and then leap from species to species until they can, in certain circumstances, infect human beings."

Mint is now on WhatsApp Channels :rocket: Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest financial insights! Click here!

7. According to Bingham, one of the initial actions that need to be taken is to allocate the necessary financial resources, essentially putting "the money on the table." Bingham said, " The monetary cost of inaction is seismic. After all, even Covid-19 - a milder virus than Disease X - managed to leave us holding a bill for $16 trillion in both lost output and public health expenditure."

Also Read: Disease X, other pathogens that can cause future pandemics to be identified by WHO

8. Regarding vaccines for Disease X, there are currently no approved vaccines available. Nevertheless, Bingham underscores the importance of scientists developing a collection of "different prototype vaccines for every threatening virus family". She stressed that only a 'head start' on vaccines could help to target specific features of Disease X.

9. Bingham explained about the portfolio strategy - vaccines countering different facets of the virus. She explains by saying that 'different types of vaccines stimulate different immune responses and therefore they provide different levels of protection'.

10. She further noted that the manufacturing capabilities vary enormously across countries and regions. Some vaccine formats may be suitable for large-scale production, while others may be easier to produce in the third world. Third, we need to address the shortcomings of current vaccines, not all of which are durable, easy to transport or cheap. Fourth, researchers must be encouraged to trial new technologies and approaches to vaccine design, potentially leading to more effective and efficient vaccines in the future."

You are on Mint! India's #1 news destination (Source: Press Gazette). To learn more about our business coverage and market insights Click Here!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 25 Sep 2023, 07:36 AM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You