The Next Pandemic Could Be 20 Times More Severe Than COVID-19

23 January 2024 Coronavirus

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the world could face a pandemic 20 times more severe than the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in a message delivered at the World Economic Forum. A theoretical scenario dubbed Disease X acknowledges the possibility of a global outbreak caused by an unknown pathogen rather than a transmission of an existing disease.

The most probable cause of Disease X is a respiratory virus that originated in animals, but has not yet been transmitted to humans. According to the WHO, an unanticipated Disease X pandemic could have more devastating consequences than COVID-19, which has claimed over seven million lives worldwide.

In order to prevent future pandemics, the WHO is taking proactive measures, including bolstering disease surveillance between nations and encouraging technology sharing. While Disease X took center stage during the session, epidemiologists remain vigilant about other potential pandemics, including viruses such as Ebola, Marburg, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever, SARS, MERS, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever, Zika virus, and potential new iterations of COVID-19.

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