February 25, 2024

There’s no new disease called Disease X. It’s actually a placeholder name used by the World Health Organization to refer to an unknown pathogen that could have serious global health consequences in the future. It’s not a new disease currently spreading, but rather a hypothetical disease that could emerge in the future. COVID-19 was the first emergence of Disease X since the designation was established. Scientists are preparing for the potential emergence of a new Disease X and are working to develop vaccines to tackle it. The VERIFY team emphasizes that diseases and pathogens receive real scientific names and would not be called Disease X. The UK Health Security Agency is also preparing for ways to tackle potential new pathogens, including viruses of pandemic potential. The confusion about Disease X arises from misconceptions based on recent news headlines, but there is no new disease with this name. The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction, and it’s important to consider reliable sources of information rather than viral posts and headlines.

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