Kate Bingham compared the mortality rate of Disease X to the Spanish flu.
A UK health expert has said that Disease X could lead to another pandemic that will be deadlier than COVID-19. The name Disease X has been given by the World Health Organization (WHO). In an interview with the Daily Mail, Kate Bingham said the new virus could have the same effect as the devastating Spanish flu of 1919-1920. Kate Bingham served as chairman of the UK's vaccine taskforce from May to December 2020. According to the WHO, Disease X can be a new agent, a virus, a bacterium or a fungus for which there is no cure.
"Let me put it this way: The 1918-19 flu pandemic killed at least 50 million people worldwide, twice as many as those killed in World War I. If the world is to tackle the threat of Disease X, "the world has to prepare for a massive vaccination drive and deliver doses in record time", he told the Daily Mail.
The expert further said that scientists have identified 25 virus families, but there may be more than a million undiscovered variants, which may be able to move from one species to another.
"In a way, we were lucky in the case of Covid-19, despite the fact that it caused 20 million or more deaths worldwide. The issue is that most of the people infected with the virus managed to recover... Just imagine the mortality rate of Disease X Ebola is as contagious as measles. It is happening again somewhere in the world and sooner or later someone will start feeling sick," he added.
The WHO first mentioned Disease X on its website in May. It said the term "represents that a serious international pandemic caused by a pathogen that is currently unknown can cause human disease."
The WHO started using the term in 2018 and a year later, Covid-19 started spreading around the world.
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