WHO director calls for worldwide pandemic treaty to prepare for ominous ‘Disease X’

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The head of the World Health Organization is urging countries to sign a pandemic treaty to prepare for an unknown future disease, referred to as “Disease X,” which could potentially be more lethal than any previous pandemics.

Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus made this call at the World Economic Forum in Davos, emphasizing the importance of reaching an agreement by May.

Scientists have speculated that “Disease X” could be up to 20 times deadlier than COVID-19. Ghebreyesus stated that COVID-19 was considered the first instance of Disease X and stressed the need for global readiness for future outbreaks.

The WHO explained that Disease X represents the potential threat posed by a pathogen currently unrecognized for causing human diseases.

In 2018, Disease X was added to the WHO’s list of priority diseases and pathogens requiring focused research efforts.

This initiative aims to expedite the development and availability of effective tests, vaccines, and treatments in order to save lives during severe health emergencies such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Ebola.

“There are things that are unknown that may happen, and anything happening is a matter of when, not if, so we need to have a placeholder for that, for the diseases we don’t know,” Ghebreyesus said.

“We lost many people [during COVID] because we couldn’t manage them,” Ghebreyesus added. “They could have been saved, but there was no space. There was not enough oxygen. So how can you have a system that can expand when the need comes?”

Ghebreyesus further proposed that the optimal approach to address this potential scenario would involve the drafting of a treaty that garners support from various nations.

“The pandemic agreement can bring all the experience, all the challenges that we have faced and all the solutions into one,” Ghebreyesus said. “That agreement can help us to prepare for the future in a better way.”

“This is a common global interest, and very narrow national interests should not come into the way.”

It is uncertain how many countries plan to sign the treaty.

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