New Delhi: After Covid-19 and Monkeypox, the United Kingdom, which has witnessed a string of infections in the past few years, might see another infection that could lead to another pandemic. According to a Telegraph report, experts in Britain have warned of another emerging pandemic and asked the authorities to escalate its preparedness and strengthen health infrastructure. This new disease is called Disease X. The warning by health experts about the ‘Disease X’ comes in wake of the poliovirus being detected in sewage samples in London, Reuters had reported. However, the UK Health authorities have not found any cases of polio which causes paralysis in children, yet. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the risk was low because of high vaccination coverage.
“We’re living through a new pandemic area,” medical experts said, adding that the ‘Disease X’ could be just around the corner, The Mirror reported.
What is Disease X?
According to the World Health Organisation, “Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease.” In simple terms a hypothetical and yet-unknown pathogen that could trigger an endemic or pandemic.
The UK witnessed several infections
Prior to this, a lineage of H5 bird flu was found in a human in January this year, and there were three cases of Lassa fever in February in the UK. In March, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever arrived in England after a woman returned to the UK from central Asia.
Currently, the UK is witnessing a new menace with rising Monkeypox infections. There are currently 793 monkeypox cases in the UK, out of more than 2,100 cases in 42 countries globally. No deaths beyond Africa have been reported.
Until last month, monkeypox had only caused sizeable outbreaks in central and west Africa; the continent has so far reported more than 1,500 cases and 72 suspected deaths in a separate epidemic. Vaccines have never been used in Africa to control monkeypox.