Health Minister Reassures Disease X Only Theoretical Threat

Health Minister Reassures Disease X Only Theoretical Threat

Health Minister of Turkey Fahrettin Koca has sought to allay public concerns over Disease X, a theoretical virus believed to be 20 times deadlier than COVID-19, stating that it’s not a real thing.

“A presumed disease. Disease X, as the [World Health Organization] WHO calls it. It has no equivalent in real life,” Koca said on social media platform X on Jan. 24, attempting to calm fears.

World leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, last week to discuss the hypothetical virus.

While the disease is not currently known to exist, scientists hope to proactively prepare to combat such a virus if it were to emerge as a pandemic.

“You stay comfortable. And protect yourself from colds,” the minister wrote.

The WHO initiated comprehensive studies in 2022, involving 300 scientists, to examine 25 virus families and bacteria to identify potential pathogens with the capacity to cause widespread havoc. Disease X, recognized by the WHO in 2018, was included in this list of pathogens.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged the significance of such preparations, stating that COVID-19 “may have been our first Disease X.”

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