Disease X - The Unknown Threat

What is Disease X?

Disease X is a placeholder name used by the World Health Organization (WHO) for an as-yet-unknown pathogen with epidemic or pandemic potential. It could be a completely new virus, bacteria, or other germ, or even a known pathogen that gains the ability to spread more easily.

 Why is Disease X a concern?

The emergence of new diseases is a constant threat.  Our close contact with animals and the environment creates opportunities for germs to jump species and infect humans.  Additionally,  increased travel and globalization can rapidly spread a new disease.

Are we prepared for Disease X?

The good news is that scientists and public health officials are preparing for Disease X.  Research is ongoing into developing broad-spectrum vaccines and treatments that could be effective against a variety of pathogens. Additionally,  surveillance systems are being strengthened to detect new outbreaks quickly.

What can you do?

There's no way to predict what Disease X will be, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself from any infectious disease:

Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

Avoid close contact with sick people.

Get recommended vaccinations.

Stay informed about public health recommendations.