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China says the risks of global spread of "disease X" are growing: why it is dangerous

Anna PaskevychWorld
Beijing intends to build on the experience of fighting COVID-19

China has announced a growing risk of a pandemic of disease X, which, according to the WHO, could be the next global threat after the coronavirus. Beijing intends to build on the experience of fighting COVID-19 and actively prepare for future similar pandemics.

Wang Hesheng, head of the State Administration for Disease Control and Prevention of the People's Republic of China, made the statement, the Chinese government's press service reported on March 9. According to him, China will firmly adhere to the worst-case scenario approach.

In particular, the Chinese authorities intend to improve the mechanism for switching between conventional and emergency response measures, improve the multi-channel monitoring and early warning system, and promote advanced research on infectious diseases to increase preparedness for future pandemics.

In response to a question related to "disease X," Wang said that this epidemic, which has not yet begun, caused by a hypothetical unknown pathogen, has caused great concern worldwide due to its deadly nature, rapid spread, ability to mutate, and great uncertainty.

According to the official, this will create unpredictable problems and cause the pandemic to grow due to climate change, the expansion of human activities, and interspecies transmission of pathogens.

"Although the emergence of 'disease X' is difficult to avoid, there will be ways to contain potential pandemics arising from it," he said.

China will actively participate in global public health governance, promote cooperation with international organizations such as the WHO and other countries, and actively participate in the development of a pandemic convention, Wang Hesheng said.

He also noted that the prevention and control of infectious diseases in China has achieved excellent results.

As a reminder, disease X is the name of a theoretical unknown pathogen capable of causing an epidemic or pandemic, which was adopted by the WHO in 2018 to list pathogens and diseases that require urgent development of drugs or treatments. This designation is intended to facilitate the ability to adapt to a new and unknown pathogen by rapidly starting the development of a vaccine or treatment.

As OBOZ.UA previously reported, infectious disease doctor Olha Holubovska confirmed that disease "X" would be 20 times more deadly than the coronavirus. According to her, doctors are now discussing a number of possible pathogens, including a pandemic version of the flu and bird flu.

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