Wed, 23 Nov 2022 07:42 AM IST
THE WORLD has continuously struggled with the COVID-19 virus, dengue and other diseases in the past. Recently, World Health Organization has updated a list of pathogens that can cause outbreaks of pandemics in the world. These pathogens include Crimean-Cong haemorrhagic fever, Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus disease, Lassa fever, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), henipaviral diseases and Nipah, Rift valley fever, Zika and Disease X.
According to WHO, this Disease X indicates an unknown pathogen that can cause a serious international epidemic in the world. More than 300 scientists are assembling at the request of WHO to examine and do advanced research on more than 25 virus and bacterial families, including Disease X, which started on November 18, 2022.
Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme, said that targeting priority pathogens and virus families can help in developing vaccines. "Targeting priority pathogens and virus families for research and development of countermeasures is essential for a fast and effective epidemic and pandemic response. Without significant R&D investments prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it would not have been possible to have safe and effective vaccines developed in record time," said Dr Ryan.
The revised list of priority pathogens is anticipated to be released in the first quarter of 2023. The very first list of the pathogen to cause future epidemics was published in 2017 by WHO.
(Inputs from WHO)