Disease-X Pandemic To Be 20 Times Deadlier Than COVID, WHO Sounds Alarm


JANUARY 22, 2024

Davos: The World Health Organisation has raised an alarm regarding a potential Disease X pandemic. As per WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, this next pandemic would be 20 times deadlier than the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum 2024 at Davos, the WHO Chief urged countries to reach an agreement for the Pandemic Accords to address this “common enemy.”

“There are things that are unknown that may happen, and anything happening is a matter of when, not if, so we need to have a placeholder for that, for the diseases we don’t know,” stated the WHO Chief.

“We lost many people [during COVID] because we couldn’t manage them. They could have been saved, but there was no space. There was not enough oxygen. So how can you have a system that can expand when the need comes?”, he added further.

Dr. Ghebreyesus added that the UN Health body has already started to implement measures to prepare for an outbreak of Disease X. Along with this, WHO is also establishing a “pandemic fund” and a “technology transfer hub” in South Africa.

‘Equity was a serious problem. Many high-income countries were hoarding vaccines. To address the equity problem, we established the mRNA technology transfer hub in South Africa. This is to increase the local production…,” stated the WHO Chief.

What is Disease X?

Disease X is a placeholder for any disease which presents the potential of turning into a pandemic. This ‘Disease X’ could be a new agent, virus, bacterium or fungus without any known treatment.

WHO has categorised Disease X with other diseases such as COVID-19, Ebola, Lassa fever, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), Nipah, and Zika.

Courtesy: Times Now / PTI