Next pandemic ‘already on the way’ as expert warns Disease X could kill 50 million people

Global health experts are warning of a new pandemic, dubbed ‘Disease X’ by the World Health Organisation, that could be 20 times deadlier than Covid-19 and potentially claim 50 million lives. This looming threat could strike at any moment and is likely to have a far greater impact than Covid, which caught the world off guard in early 2020.

Kate Bingham, who led the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce in 2020, has cautioned against complacency now that Covid-19 is seen as a “largely regarded as a routine illness”. In a stark warning, she said: “Let me put it this way: the 191819 flu pandemic killed at least 50 million people worldwide, twice as many as were killed in World War I.”

“Today, we could expect a similar death toll from one of the many viruses that already exist. Today, there are more viruses busily replicating and mutating than all the other life forms on our planet combined. Not all of them pose a threat to humans, of course – but plenty do.” She revealed that at the moment, scientists know of 25 virus families, packed with thousands of individual terrible bugs that could become a worldwide sickness.

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