The World Health Organisation (WHO) has an alert list of diseases that could pose the biggest threat to mankind.
WHO chiefs compiled the list of nine pathogens, and Covid-19 is included, which are labelled as “priority diseases” for scientists to prepare humanity’s defences.
Experts describe the diseases as ones which pose the “greatest public health risk”, either due to their “epidemic potential” or lack of countermeasures against them.
Coronavirus is currently public enemy number one as it continues to sweep across the world, killing almost 2.5million people so far and infecting more than 112million.
But other diseases on the list are also deadly and could post a threat unless action or preventative measures are taken.
Some of the horror infections can make your brain swell, leave you bleeding out of your eyes, cause deafness and trigger shrunken head birth defects.
Scientists fear the next pandemic could be worst than the Black Death – which killed 75million people – and there may be a health crises every five years, writes The Sun.
Dr Melanie Saville, director of vaccine research and development at CEPI, warned the world needs to prepare for the next “big one”.
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It’s possible the next big disease could be one featured, whereas WHO says its priority alert list is “not exhaustive” and it is regularly updated.
WHO’s hidden enemy, branded ‘Disease X’, is on the alert list and could be a serious international epidemic caused by a “pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease”.
Scientists estimate out of 1.67million unknown viruses in the world, up to 827,000 of these could infect people from animals.
It’s feared as the human population grows and moves deeper into animal habitats, the risk of transmission to humans grows.
Environmental writer John Vidal, investigating links between nature and disease, predicted we face a new Black Death-scale pandemic.
He said a virus could rampage the Earth, unknowingly spread by asymptomatic carriers, “in a few weeks, killing tens of millions of people before borders could be closed.”
Among the other diseases Nipah is included, one of the biggest possible threats to become a new pandemic if the virus mutates, and is 75 times more deadly than Covid.
The fruit bat-borne virus with a death rate between 40 and 75% causes brain swelling, seizures and vomiting and was discovered in Malaysia in 1998.
Zika spread across the Americas in 2015 and 2016 after emerging in an Ugandan forest. It causes rashes, fevers, headaches and muscle pain, but is rarely fatal in its current form.
However, its effect on pregnant women leads to children being born with shrunken heads or other birth defects in some cases.
Ebola has appeared again in 2021, with six African nations placed on alert and the White House warning of potentially “catastrophic consequences” for the new outbreak.
The bug can have a fatality rate of up to 90% depending on the strain, with patients suffering bleeding out of the eyes, ears, nose and mouth, along with fever, headaches and muscle pain.
MERS and SARS make the list, and pose a threat for a possible epidemic. SARS, like Covid-19 is believed to have emerged from bats in China, and MERS from bats to camels to humans in the Middle East.
WHO warns MERS high case fatality rate and increasing spread created an “urgent need for action against the virus.
SARS triggered a global outbreak from 2002 and 2004 and killed 774 people.
Other diseases on the WHO alert list include Rift Valley fever, Lassa fever, and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.