What is Disease X that has reached the Davos Forum?

WHO had already warned in 2018 about the purpose of planning strategies in case the said disease occurs. It would be so devastating that this projected pandemic could cause 20 times more deaths than the coronavirus, which is why the World Economic Forum is being held this Wednesday, January 17, in Davos (Switzerland) to debate Disease X.

What is Disease X?

In 2015, experts were preparing for a pandemic scenario that would, years later, without much expectation, become a reality. To do this, they implemented various pandemic prevention strategies to avoid health care collapse, as well as shorten the time between the emergence of the disease and its potential solution with a vaccine. In response, WHO worked with a group of experts to create a list of diseases, adding the term ‘Disease X’ in 2018, a hypothetical disease that could stop the world. Thus, these are not known viruses or bacteria, but rather hypothetical diseases that could put millions of people at risk.

The WHO list is a preventive way of knowing which diseases may be of actual or future concern and thus emphasizing research and prevention. These emergency contexts will serve as a model for companies to invest in R&D development and vaccines to curb the impact of these diseases on the world’s economy and health.

This list includes the following diseases:

• COVID-19

• Ebola

• Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever

• Marburg virus disease

• Lassa fever

• MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome)

• SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

• Nipah virus disease

• Henipavirus infection

• Rift Valley Fever

• Zika

• Disease

with this disease

As indicated on the World Economic Forum page, “This session is linked to the Partnership for Health Systems Sustainability and Resilience and the World Economic Forum’s Collaborative Monitoring Initiative.” The purpose of these meetings is to analyze the health systems and what are their weak points if they face another pandemic, this time even more frightening than Covid-19 or other pandemics like Ebola or SARS.


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