One of the biggest problems in combating globally threatening diseases is the time it takes to develop vaccinations. A vaccination typically takes a decade at the minimum to produce. Knowing this while seeing outbreaks of measles and Ebola happening in certain areas of the world, scientists at the Imperial College London and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) have partnered together to ensure that a rapid response vaccination for a potentially devastating disease of the future is created, reports Express.
The effort to fight against various aggressive Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is still continuing, with scientists working diligently on vaccinations in the Congo. The contagious nature of the Ebola virus has caused quite a reign of terror as the World Health Organization sets up to begin the Ebola vaccinations. Meanwhile, Measles has made a resurgence globally due to former misleading anti-vaccination efforts. Such devastation has scientists concerned and working in overdrive to combat the illnesses, as well as prepare for what’s in store for humanity in the future, cites Express.
What scientists are calling Disease X is a mysterious disease which is currently unknown to the human race, but is expected that it could develop at a rate that could potentially cause “a global catastrophe.” As of now, Disease X is theoretical; however, researchers are working hard to ensure people are prepared for the day this mystery disease hits, should it eventually come.
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The World Health Organization (WHO) has made a statement about Disease X.
“Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease. So the R&D Blueprint explicitly seeks to enable cross-cutting R&D preparedness that is also relevant for an unknown ‘Disease X’ as far as possible.”
One doctor, Dr. Richard Hatchett, who is CEO of CEPI, has also come forward to reporters, making his own statement about diseases and disease prevention.
“In many ways we are as vulnerable as ever to sudden attack by unknown pathogens. We’ve now put a name to such threats: Disease X, listed by WHO as a priority infectious disease threat. Our partnership with Imperial represents a vital part of our plan to create vaccine platforms that can significantly reduce vaccine development times from a matter of years to weeks. We cannot predict where or when Disease X will strike, but by developing these kinds of innovative vaccine technologies we can be ready for it.”