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  1. #1
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default 'Disease X' & the World Health Organization

    Might as well just call it 'Captain Tripps'.

    Two mainstream media takes -

    Unknown 'Disease X' flagged by World Health Organization, could cause 'serious international epidemic'

    Scientists warn that an unknown "Disease X" poses a major health risk and could cause a "serious international epidemic" in the future.
    Disease X was listed by the World Health Organization as one of eight priority diseases. Others on the list include Ebola, Zika and Lassa fever.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/worl...icle-1.3866762

    What is Disease X?
    Disease X is not a newly identified pathogen but what military planners call a “known unknown”. It’s a disease sparked by a biological mutation, or perhaps an accident or terror attack, that catches the world by surprise and spreads fast.
    By including it on the list, the WHO is acknowledging that infectious diseases and the epidemics they spawn are inherently unpredictable. Like the Spanish flu which killed 50m to 100m people between 1918 and 1920, Disease X is the catastrophe nobody saw coming until it was too late.
    Where might it come from?
    One source of Disease X could be the deliberate utilisation of infectious disease as a weapon.
    While bio-weapons have been used since the middle ages (the Tartars catapulted the cadavers of plague victims into the besieged seaport of Caffa in 1346, for example), new scientific developments including gene editing and an exponential increase in computing power make it easier than ever to develop lethal biological agents.
    The US and USSR explored bio-weapon development during the Cold War and both continue to hold live cultures of deadly pathogens, including the smallpox virus, in secretive and (hopefully) secure labs. More recently, the Iraqi military toyed with botulinum toxins under Saddam Hussein, Al Qaeda operatives experimented with anthrax and, in 2014, a laptop captured from Islamic State (IS) was found to contain instructions on how to weaponise the plague virus.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/b...s-awake-night/

    From WHO -

    World Health Organization 2018 annual review of the Blueprint list of priority diseases
    http://www.who.int/blueprint/priority-diseases/en/
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  2. #2
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Virologists will attempt to identify every virus in the world that has the potential to jump from animals to humans, in the hope that collecting such information with give health workers a head start in dealing with a future outbreak.

    Scientists believe the ambitious 'virus hunter' project will not only find and - hopefully neutralise - 'disease X' before it strikes but also unearth viruses 'Y' and 'Z' . Others, however, remain unconvinced the approach is a good use of funds.

    Most of the big disease outbreaks of the last 100 years have originated in animals – from Ebola which came from bats to HIV that came from chimps to the 1918 Spanish Flu which jumped from birds to humans.

    Now scientists have set up the Global Virome Project, with backing from USAID, which has the ambitious target of identifying all the viruses in the world that could one day jump from animals to humans.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...iseases-x-y-z/
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    A PATHOGEN THAT resists almost all of the drugs developed to treat or kill it is moving rapidly across the world, and public health experts are stymied how to stop it.

    By now, that’s a familiar scenario, the central narrative in the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But this particular pathogen isn’t a bacterium. It’s a yeast, a new variety of an organism so common that it’s used as one of the basic tools of lab science, transformed into an infection so disturbing that one lead researcher called it “more infectious than Ebola” at an international conference last week.

    The name of the yeast is Candida auris. It’s been on the radar of epidemiologists only since 2009, but it’s grown into a potent microbial threat, found in 27 countries thus far. Science can’t yet say where it came from or how to control its spread, and hospitals are being forced back into old hygiene practices—putting patients into isolation, swabbing rooms with bleach—to try to control it.
    https://www.wired.com/story/the-stra...uperbug-yeast/
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    CDC Main Page for Candida auris
    https://www.cdc.gov/fungal/candida-auris/index.html
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    For over a year, the Chinese government has withheld lab samples of a rapidly evolving influenza virus from the United States — specimens needed to develop vaccines and treatments, according to federal health officials. Despite persistent requests from government officials and research institutions, China has not provided samples of the dangerous virus, a type of bird flu called H7N9. In the past, such exchanges have been mostly routine under rules established by the World Health Organization. Now, as the United States and China spar over trade, some scientists worry that the vital exchange of medical supplies and information could slow, hampering preparedness for the next biological threat.
    https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world...rus/ar-BBMwyrr
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