Next pandemic could be 20 times more severe than COVID-19

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Experts fear the unanticipated Disease X pandemic could surpass the COVID-19 impact.

During a session at the forum, WHO scientists urged global leaders to collaborate in devising strategies to prevent or manage a potential Disease X pandemic. Emphasizing the need for better communication strategies to counter misinformation and conspiracy theories, experts addressed concerns about the potential severity of such an outbreak. Notably, some individuals took to social media platforms, including X (formerly Twitter), to express skepticism, labeling the session as a conspiracy against freedom.

NEW YORK, Jan 23: In a stern message delivered at the World Economic Forum, the World Health Organization (WHO) sounded the alarm, cautioning that the world could face a future pandemic 20 times more severe than the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Dubbed Disease X, this theoretical scenario acknowledges the possibility of a global outbreak caused by an unknown pathogen rather than the transmission of an existing disease.

Scientists identified a respiratory virus, likely originating in animals and not yet transmitted to humans, as the most probable cause for Disease X. The WHO underscored the importance of preparedness, warning that an unanticipated Disease X pandemic could result in more devastating consequences than COVID-19, which has claimed over seven million lives globally.

Taking proactive measures, the WHO has initiated efforts to guard against future pandemics, including support for technology sharing and bolstering disease surveillance between nations. 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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