DISEASE X (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     25th January 2024        
output themes

Context: COVID-19 was the first ‘Disease X’ and it may happen again, warned the World Health Organization (WHO).

Disease X

  • About: Disease X is the term designated by scientists and the World Health Organization to denote a potential unknown pathogen that could surface in the future, triggering a severe international epidemic or pandemic.
  • Hypothetical Nature: Disease X is purely hypothetical; it does not currently exist. However, it represents a genuine and escalating threat to human health, demanding enhanced global preparedness for effective responses.
  • Recent Case: The most recent manifestation of Disease X is the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of adequate preparation against this novel pathogen resulted in its rapid global spread, causing widespread illness and millions of fatalities.
  • Continuous Threat: Novel diseases continually emerge worldwide, often crossing from animals, such as bats, to humans. 

oScientists emphasize that the next Disease X is highly likely to be caused by a new virus originating from one of approximately 25 virus families known for their capacity to induce diseases in humans.