WHO warns of new killer 'Disease X'


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned scientists and health workers about a new pathogen called Disease X. The news comes from Geneva, where the WHO meets every year to discuss diseases which could present a major health crisis in the future. This year 'Disease X' has been added to the list, and "represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease". 

With the advent of new gene-sequencing and manipulation techniques, the WHO has admitted that the disease could even be produced through a mistake or an act of terror. This comes in the wake of the Salisbury nerve agent attack in London, which has propagated fears of chemical warfare. 

The WHO hopes to be able to influence governments across the globe to strengthen their health systems in preparation for a potentially catastrophic pathogenic outbreak.

Grahame White