Two and a half years after the first outbreak of Covid-19, experts are warning of more catastrophic pandemics as we live in a “perfect storm for emerging infectious diseases”.
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The resurgence of polio in the UK is just the latest worrying sign that the world is heading for a “perfect storm” of new and existing viruses raging through the population.
We are living through a “new pandemic era” according to experts who say the next “Disease X” could be just around the corner.
Disease X is a placeholder name adopted by the World Health Organization three years ago, representing a hypothetical, as yet unknown, pathogen that could cause a future epidemic.
Two and a half years after the first outbreak of Covid-19, scientists are preparing for further health disasters due to a number of circumstances that mean that viral diseases will only become more common around the world.
A nationwide incident was declared in the UK this week after the UK Health Security Agency repeatedly detected the poliovirus in London’s sewage works.
The last community outbreak in Britain was in the 1970s and health officials insist the current risk to the population is low – but experts say a serious illness thought to have caused it is unlikely was exterminated, the last time returns.
Avian flu, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever and monkeypox were all detected in the UK this year.
“There’s a name for what we’re seeing in the UK and elsewhere at the moment, it’s called Chatter,” Prof Mark Woolhouse, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, told the Telegraph.
“It’s a term anti-terrorist [units] use it to describe the small events that could mean something bigger on the horizon… Infectious diseases work the same way.”
Population growth in developing countries, particularly in areas where human settlements have encroached into jungle areas, is just one of a growing list of reasons for what Dr. Anthony Fauci from the USA called a “new pandemic era”.
Climate change, disruptions from the Covid pandemic and an increase in people migrating from places other than Europe are believed to be contributing to the number of new diseases reaching the UK.
“The early 21st century has been a perfect storm for emerging infectious diseases, and everything points to the likelihood of more and more outbreaks,” said Prof Woolhouse.
“All outbreak drivers actually get worse, not better, over time.”
Experts say influenza and measles could be among the next diseases to rise in Britain – but the arrival of the next Disease X is “almost impossible to predict,” reports the Telegraph.
Amid the current surge, parents have been urged to check their children are up to date with their polio vaccinations, which are part of the NHS standard vaccination list.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/new-disease-x-could-arrive-27329474 New Disease X could arrive any day as viral outbreaks 'worsen' amid polio in Britain.