What is Disease X? All to Know About Next Epidemic 'Deadlier Than Covid-19'

Is another pandemic deadlier than Covid-19 and Ebola on the way? You've probably heard of Ebola, Zika, MERS, SARS and the latest Coronavirus. But there are many such deadly viruses that are yet to be discovered by scientists on earth. The World Health Organization (WHO) has now added Disease X to its Blueprint list of priority diseases. Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum, who helped in the discovery of the deadly Ebola virus in 1976, has once again warned against new and potentially fatal viruses faced by humans among which is the Disease X.

As per the Blueprint list of WHO that occurred on February 6-7, 2018, Disease X appeared at the end of the following list of diseases:

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF)
Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus disease
Lassa fever
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
Nipah and henipaviral diseases
Rift Valley fever (RVF)
Disease X

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the new strain of virus called 'Disease X' might be on the anvil as it could be a serious international epidemic that can spread from a pathogen not known to the humankind. Experts have opined that it is important to stay alert and fear the breakout of any new pathogen.

What is Disease X and How big a threat it is?
Disease X: A new term for unknown pathogen PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

What is Disease?

According to a video released by the WHO in 2018, there is NO disease called Disease X. According to health expert Dr Bernadette Murgue, the list is a way to prioritize the efforts of WHO and all others working with the organisation on such diseases that has the potential to give rise to a severe epidemic for which there are no medical countermeasures. Dr Murgue, further explained that Disease X at the end of the list is just a concept. It has been introduced for identification of any new disease the WHO knows not enough but suddenly emerges and is which may be more severe.

How big a threat it is?

A patient from Ingende, Democratic Republic of Congo showed early symptoms of haemorrhagic fever who later underwent an Ebola test. However, doctors feared that the infected person could be 'patient zero' of the 'Disease X', a term newly introduced to identify an unknown pathogen when the results showed negative. But the report suggests that the new pathogen could be contagious and spread like Covid-19. Reports also suggest that it has a fatality rate between 50-90 per cent of the Ebola virus.