February 22, 2024

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Emergence of “Disease X” Feared by WHO: Effective Measures to Prevent it?

Emergence of “Disease X” Feared by WHO: Effective Measures to Prevent it?



Emergence of “Disease X” Feared by WHO: Effective Measures to Prevent it?

It has been four years since the world recognized the emergence of the novel coronavirus in January this year.

Reflecting on January 11, 2020, when Chinese authorities first informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about the existence of the novel coronavirus, it marked the beginning.

However, this narrative is now being challenged. Suspicions have arisen that Chinese researchers had identified the novel coronavirus by the end of 2019 and had completed the genome analysis, undermining the established timeline.

This revelation comes from the U.S. House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee, which, according to its report on the origins of the coronavirus published on January 17th, states that a virus researcher affiliated with a Chinese government-backed Institute of Virology submitted the genome information of the novel coronavirus to the Genetic Sequence Database “GenBank” under the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on December 28, 2019. The submitted genome information was reportedly almost identical to the later officially announced data.

As Kathy McMorris Rodgers, Chair of the E&C Committee, stated: This crucial discovery highlights the unreliability of the so-called ‘facts’ and data provided by China, casting serious doubt on the legitimacy of scientific theories based on such information.

This has reignited discussions about the origin of the novel coronavirus.

The origins of COVID-19 may differ from what the ‘Science’ paper suggested


Next: Is “Disease X” Coming?

The origin of the novel coronavirus, whether it transmitted from wildlife like bats to humans (natural origin theory) or leaked from a laboratory (lab leak theory), remains unclear. While many researchers, including the WHO, are leaning towards the lab leak theory, the lack of cooperation from the Chinese government hinders reaching a definitive conclusion.

Despite the continued havoc caused by the highly infectious novel coronavirus, the widespread availability of effective vaccines and treatments has brought a semblance of stability. However, the WHO remains vigilant, warning that the next pandemic, possibly caused by “Disease X,” could occur at any time, with potential casualties exceeding 50 million, more than twice that of the novel coronavirus.

The Source of Danger

Heightening its sense of urgency, the WHO is focusing on the discovery and analysis of new pathogens. The author suggests that the source of the crisis might not be in nature but within laboratories.

Many researchers supporting the lab leak theory argue that the virus leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology was artificially created. The novel coronavirus has a highly unique portion of its genetic sequence, suggesting experimental gain-of-function research to enhance infectivity and toxicity of naturally occurring viruses.

Conducting gain-of-function experiments in a new species of coronavirus lurking in bats in China Yunnan province’s caves could be the source of the emergence of the novel coronavirus.

Unregulated Gain-of-Function Experiments

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns about the dangers of gain-of-function experiments have been raised, yet they continue unchecked.

An article in the New York Post on January 17 reported that research teams from China’s Beijing University of Chemical Technology and Nanjing Medical University conducted experiments on a coronavirus discovered in the endangered species pangolin, creating a new coronavirus with a 100% fatality rate in mice.

While the death of four infected mice is considered highly dangerous, it is premature to judge a virus’s risk based solely on four deaths, as seen in the early days of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

The issue is that gain-of-function experiments are still ongoing in China. Despite concerns, research teams from Boston University and Imperial College London conducted experiments fusing the “Wuhan type” and “Omicron type” in October 2022.

Why is Gain-of-Function Research Popular?

While the purpose of gain-of-function experiments is said to be for pandemic prevention and drug development, there have been virtually no instances where it proved beneficial. However, researchers worldwide continue to engage in risky gain-of-function experiments due to the ease of obtaining results within six months with a near 100% success rate. This makes it easy to write papers and secure research budgets.

A concerning aspect is the low awareness of safety management among researchers conducting gain-of-function experiments. Even in the case of the aforementioned Chinese research team, experts express concerns about whether the virus was handled safely.

With the risk of dangerous viruses leaking from laboratories increasing, the inadequate safety management in labs extends beyond China.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, accidents or leakage incidents at UK research institutes have averaged 42 per year, a 1.5-fold increase compared to the average from 2010 to 2019. The risk of dangerous viruses born from gain-of-function experiments leaking outside the laboratory is undoubtedly escalating.

Unless the WHO turns its monitoring attention to gain-of-function experiments, the emergence of Disease X may be unstoppable.

Emergence of "Disease X" Feared by WHO: Effective Measures to Prevent it?

Emergence of “Disease X” Feared by WHO: Effective Measures to Prevent it?

References:

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/a7247d80263b52fc623f3da588554416c47364c0

(source:internet, reference only)


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