‘Disease X’ On WHO’s Prioritized List Of Diseases Represents Placeholder For Unknown Pathogens

U.N. Dispatch: The World Health Organization Wants You To Worry About “Disease X”
Alanna Shaikh, international development writer, discusses the WHO’s list of priority diseases, which includes familiar diseases, like Ebola, Zika, and Lassa Fever, but also includes “Disease X.” Shaikh notes, Disease X “is quite literally a mystery disease. It’s a recognition that we can’t see everything coming. In 2018, it’s entirely possible that we’ll see a brand-new pathogen. Or, as with Zika, an old disease will suddenly demonstrate a new way to harm us” (2/25).