Deadlier ‘Disease X’ underway, scientist says

WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED

  • An unknown, “Disease X” appears to be manifesting symptoms of the coronavirus and the Ebola virus in terms of transmission speed and mortality rate, respectively.
  • According to Scientist and Professor Jean-Jacques Muyember Tamfum, the disease is an effect of the continuous ecological destruction and hygiene deterioration among humans.
  • A woman showing signs of hemorrhagic fever in Kinshasa could be patient zero of “Disease X.”

“More apocalyptic than Coronavirus.”

This is how Professor Jean-Jacques Muyember Tamfum, a scientist who co-discovered the devastating Ebola virus, describes another pandemic likely to happen in the near future.

Professor Muyembe is known to have worked on identifying new pathogens since the 70’s by taking blood samples from Ebola patients. These samples were then brought to scientists in Belguim and the United States for further study and analysis.

Ebola, a river in Africa where the disease was believed to have its very first and largest outbreak, was a worm-shaped virus that causes vomiting and hemorrhaging. It is said to transmit from wild animals – possibly a fruit bat – to people, and spreads through human-to-human transmission.

According to Prof. Muyembe who now runs the Institut National de Recherceh Biomédicale (INRB), this kind of scenario may not be a far-fetched reality, as more zoonotic illnesses – where pathogens casually transmit between humans and animals are becoming a common threat.

“We are now in a world where new pathogens will come out, and that’s what constitutes a threat to humanity,” he told CNN.

The Coronavirus is considered a zoonotic disease, and scientists are still on a hunt for its origin – which was believed to have made a deadly leap to humans in a Wuhan wet market in China, late 2019. It has since affected many countries, halted economies, and killed millions of people in less than a year.

“Ecological destruction and unhygienic wet markets are now causing a surge and an unlikely trend in the emergence of new zoonotic diseases, which can trigger another pandemic,” Prof. Muyembe said.

Experts likewise warned that the continuous destruction in the ecological system is a big factor in the spiraling of these zoonotic diseases, where many species simply die out, while smaller animals such as rats and bats continue to thrive and adapt to live alongside humans.

Deforestation, for one, has affected the ecosystem to the point where insects, rats, and the like leave their places and thrive in villages, as in the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the Ebola virus recorded its first outbreak.

Currently, a woman showing signs of hemorrhagic fever is being treated by the doctors in Kinshasa. This causes a major concern as she could be patient zero of an entirely new “Disease X,” which can quickly spread like the Coronavirus, and has the 50-90% mortality rate of the Ebola virus.

Source: Daily Star

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