Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, March 11, 2018

Over two days in early February, the World Health Organisation (WHO) convened an expert committee at its Geneva headquarters to consider the unthinkable. The goal was to identify pathogens with the potential to spread and kill millions but for which there are currently no, or insufficient, countermeasures available. As the meeting opened, the city's eponymous lake reflected a crisp blue winter sky. Only as the meeting progressed did an icy rain set in. It was the third time the committee, consisting of leading virologists, bacteriologists and infectious disease experts, had met to consider diseases with epidemic or pandemic potential. But when the 2018 list was released two weeks ago it included an entry not seen in previous years.




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Disease X is not a newly identified pathogen but what military planners call a "known unknown". It's a disease sparked by a biological mutation, or perhaps an accident or terror attack, that catches the world by surprise and spreads fast.

By including it on the list, the WHO is acknowledging that infectious diseases and the epidemics they spawn are inherently unpredictable. Like the Spanish flu which killed 50m to 100m people between 1918 and 1920, Disease X is the catastrophe nobody saw coming until it was too late.

"Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown," says the WHO.

It has been included on the list not to terrify us, but to ensure that the global health community builds the resilience and capacity needed to tackle all threats - not just the predictable ones.


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"We're hoping to have it ready by late summer." - Scientists

#1 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2018-03-10 07:12 PM | Reply | Funny: 1


I went to the site you cited and searched for the word "summer"

The search came up empty.

Can you quote the entire paragraph containing the sentence you quote?

#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2018-03-10 07:38 PM | Reply

Big time headline FAIL.

#3 | Posted by Corky at 2018-03-10 08:00 PM | Reply

I'm just stating the obvious. You've been warned by scientists. Disease X is imminent.

#4 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2018-03-10 10:51 PM | Reply

Here are a few clues, for the slower retorters:

World Health Organisation (WHO)
Geneva headquarters
Disease X
military planners
biological mutation
diseases and the epidemics
serious international epidemic

It's all in the article.

#5 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2018-03-10 10:55 PM | Reply

This is the terror threat I actually worry about. Not incompetent bombers, shooters or truck crashers.
There are hundreds of people capable of making a disease X.

#6 | Posted by bored at 2018-03-11 01:24 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

World's Deadliest Germs Need New Home That CDC Wants $400 Million For - www.ibtimes.com

#7 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2018-03-11 01:17 PM | Reply

Scientists plan to create easier-to-spread bird flu in lab - www.ctvnews.ca

#8 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2018-03-11 01:21 PM | Reply

Nice Headline fix.

#9 | Posted by Corky at 2018-03-11 08:22 PM | Reply

Disease X is imminent.


Good article.

Disease X had always been imminent. The only thing that has changed is our awareness of the possibilities.

We think we are so smart that now we are in control of Life but we aren't and never were. Maybe someday. But not yet. The question is will we get smart enough fast enough to win the "arms" race or will the microbes.

My personal opinion is that we need to make our bodies stronger and to learn to work with the microbes rather than try and destroy them all. That seems like a forever War. But I like the idea of "firewalls".

And at least the Republicans haven't defunded the research yet.

#10 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-03-12 09:22 AM | Reply

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