Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum, the scientist who helped discover the Ebola virus in 1976, has warned about the possibility of another deadly virus, termed as ‘Disease X’, taking over the world soon. According to the professor, this disease (Disease X), originating from Africa’s rainforests, is likely to be as fast-spreading as the COVID-19 and could be as fatal as the African virus.
“We are now in a world where new pathogens will come out. And that’s what constitutes a threat for humanity,” the professor warned about the potentially fatal viruses emerging from Africa’s tropical rainforests, reports CNN.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still posing a threat to the world and various vaccines receiving approvals for emergency use, Professor Muyembe also stressed that humankind will face several unknown threats in the future and any new disease could be more apocalyptic than the current pandemic.
Disease X is still ‘hypothetical’
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Disease X is still hypothetical but this might lead to another pandemic very soon.
The health expert has claimed that they expect another outbreak after a woman patient showed symptoms of hemorrhagic fever in Ingende, a remote town in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After undergoing an Ebola test, which came out negative, and several others, doctors claimed that it could be signs of Disease X, a new “unexpected” disease. Reports also suggest that the new pathogen could spread just as rapidly as COVID-19 but also has Ebola’s 50 to 90 percent fatality rate, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
“We’ve all got to be frightened,” the patient’s physician, Dr Dadin Bonkole, told the US news channel. “Ebola was unknown. Covid was unknown. We have to be afraid of new diseases.” Professor Muyembe also issued a warning about the rise of many more zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases are diseases that jump from animals to humans.