With the rise of polio in the United Kingdom, international experts have warned that a new 'disease X' could be strike very soon. This unknown threat represents a hypothetical pathogen that could trigger the next pandemic.
The term 'disease X', adopted by the World Health Organization in February 2018, is not actually a disease but an area of research for experts to analyze and predict the possibilities of the next pandemic.
The disastrous impact of the coronavirus has put the scientists on high alert as they anticipate an even more deadlier virus-borne disease to strike soon.
Earlier this week, the UK Health and Security Agency declared a national incident on polio as the virus was detected in the sewage works of North and East London in February.
Britain is witnessing this spread of polio as the first transmission event since the 1980s. The health professionals have therefore cautioned that the disease might be making a comeback.
Apart from polio many other infections such as the bird flu, monkeypox, Lassa fever as well as Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever were detected in Britain in 2022 alone.
Explaining its current priority list, WHO said that it includes some of the deadliest virus ever known, like Zika, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Ebola, Nipah and henipaviral diseases as well as Rift Valley fever.
The UN agency clarified that the list is "not exhaustive" the experts continue to review and update it as and when needed, as per India Today.
According to Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor of President Joe Biden, the abrupt rise in the population of developing countries and the encroachment of forest land might be one of the biggest reasons for a "new pandemic" to hit us.
Other contributing factors as per Prof Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, can be climate change, disturbances caused due to Covid-19 and the rapid increase in international migration.
As per the Mirror, he mentioned that the current century has been "a perfect storm" for these fatal viral diseases because of which the future generations could experience more and more outbreaks.
"All the drivers of outbreaks are in fact getting worse, not better, over time," Prof Woolhouse said.
The experts from WHO have therefore stated that the best time to 'prevent' the next pandemic like situation is now. The predictions being made by the healthcare industry should be considered as an early warning to gear up for the worst possible pandemics experienced by the human race, that could even result in a much longer lockdown.