The World Health Organization has a priority list of 10 viral diseases that have the potential to cause a global pandemic including Ebola, Zika and SARS. The scariest one is “Disease X” – a virus that has yet to be identified that combines all the deadliest properties: highly contagious; rapidly developing drug-resistance and occurring in counties that are already struggling with poor infrastructure and disruption due to war or natural disasters.
Scientists are also warning us of the threat of antimicrobial resistance whereby microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs. This renders our medicines ineffective thus threatening our ability to treat common infectious diseases and making routine surgeries high risk.
“Hide and Seek” encapsulates my fears that we are wasting time playing children’s games with our national politics when we should be concentrating on fighting the real global battles. We are starting to demand global action on climate change and plastic pollution. Now we must demand greater investment in research and development of new antimicrobial medicines, vaccines, and diagnostic tools.
“Disease X “ IS coming – are we ready or not?