After COVID, Disease X sends alarm bells ringing

New Delhi: The threat of Corona pandemic has not been completely averted yet. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) is going to prepare a list of bacteria, viruses or other microorganisms, through which preparations can be started in advance to identify dangerous viruses and deal with them. In this list, Disease X, an unknown bacterium or virus has also been included in the list which can put the world in a new trouble in the future.

WHO is preparing a team of 300 scientists

The World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing a team of 300 scientists for this research, which will identify bacteria and viruses that may cause future pandemics. Along with this, this team will also work on the vaccine and treatment of these microbes. WHO published the first list of such bacteria in 2017.

Diseases included in the list of World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) lists Crimean-Kong hemorrhagic fever, Ebola virus disease, COVID-19 and Marburg virus disease, Lassa fever, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Nipah and henipaviral diseases. , Rift Valley Fever, Zika and Disease X. Disease X is included in the list to denote an unknown bacterium or virus that may become a global pandemic in the future.

Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the Health Emergencies Program of the World Health Organization (WHO), said that rapid and effective epidemic and pandemic response requires research and development of countermeasures targeting primary pathogens and virus families. Without significant R&D investments prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it would not have been possible to develop safe and effective vaccines in record time.

Revised list expected to be published in 2023

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist of the World Health Organisation, called the list a reference point for the research community so that they can focus their energies on managing the next threat. She said, ‘It has been developed in collaboration with experts in the field, and is where we as a global research community need to invest energy and money to develop tests, treatments and vaccines. The revised list of priority pathogens is expected to be published in the first quarter of 2023.

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