We Know Very Little About the Next Global Epidemic

Ebola was a well-studied disease, but what might strike next is something

(Getty Images)
Getty Images

In 2013, a virus jumped from an animal to a child in a Guinean village. More than 11,000 people, spanned across six countries, were dead three years later. Though devastating, Ebola was a well-studied disease. World Health Organization fears that whatever strikes next will be something that no doctor has ever heard of, let alone know how to treat. It’s come to be known as Disease X, according to Wired. 

Disease X is a warning to prepare for the worst possible scenario as best we can, which includes swift response teams (a critical failure in the Ebola epidemic) and broad-spectrum solutions. WHO has ideas for “platform technologies,” like plug-and-play systems that can create new vaccines in months instead of years, writes Wired. 

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