The doctor who discovered Ebola warned that a fresh set of deadly viruses would hit mankind as he fears Disease X, which could be as fast-spreading as the COVID-19 and as fatal as the Ebola virus. Professor Jean-Jacques MuyembeTamfum, who helped discover the Ebola virus in 1976, said humanity faces an unknown number of new viruses.
Professor Tamfum said the Disease X is still hypothetical, but it could be deadly and might lead to another global pandemic. There are new and potentially fatal viruses emerging from Africa’s tropical rainforests, he added, according to CNN.
He said, “We are now in a world where new pathogens will come out. And that’s what constitutes a threat for humanity”. The professor said that he thinks future pandemics could be worse than Covid-19 and could be more apocalyptic.
The report also mentioned a unique case from Ingende, Democratic Republic of Congo, where a patient showing early hemorrhagic fever symptoms underwent an Ebola test. Still, the doctors feared that the infected person could be patient zero of ‘Disease X,’ which stands for unexpected when the results showed negative. This new pathogen could be contagious and spread as fast as Covid-19 and has a fatality rate between 50-90 percent of Ebola.
The professor now fears many such zoonotic diseases – those that jump from animals to humans –are to come. Speaking of such incidences in the past are Yellow fever, rabies, and Lyme disease. These are among disases those transmitted from animals to humans via insects or rodents and have caused epidemics and pandemics earlier.
Experts think that the rising number of emerging viruses results from the destruction of forests, animal habitats, and wildlife trade. With their natural habitats disappearing at an alarming rate, animals like bats, rats, and insects survived; however, larger animal species got wiped out. Professor Muyembe took the first blood samples from the victims of a mysterious disease, later named Ebola when he was a young researcher. The disease caused hemorrhages and killed about 88% of patients and 80% of the staff who were working at the Yambuku Mission Hospital when it was first discovered. The vials of blood were then sent to Belgium and the US, where scientists found a worm-shaped virus