Experts fear that an as-yet-unknown animal is hiding a deadly virus that could trigger another pandemic – killing millions of people.
Scientists are reportedly racing against time to find “Tier X” which could be the source of the next global disease – or “Disease X”.
The World Health Organization has warned of the threat of zoonosis, where infections spread from animals to humans and are an emerging threat.
Experts have previously said that Covid-19 likely originated from bats and psoriasis before it was transmitted to humans.
And avian flu, SARS, MERS, Nipah, and yellow fever are other examples of diseases that appeared in animals before the viruses mutated and species jumped.
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Anthony Lockett, an infectious disease doctor, has now told the story The sun online how bats could be the source of the next pandemic.
He said, “The species that could harbor Disease X are bats and birds, as both can fly and travel long distances.
“Bats’ migration patterns can be disrupted, leading to the spread of disease, as was seen in Australia a few years ago when bats transmitted disease to humans.”
And Dr. Josef Settele from the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, co-author of a new study at the UN level on future pandemics, added: “In principle, any species could be a source.
The likelihood is higher for groups that have more species, such as rats and bats.
“In the end it comes down to the adaptability of the species.”
Environment writer John Vidal recently revealed diseases “as contagious as measles, as deadly as Ebola” that can still mutate and destroy human populations.
Many diseases – such as Ebola and Covid-19 – are believed to have infected people from eating contaminated meat.
Vidal has spoken to experts from around the world who have made dire predictions that the worst may yet be ahead when he writes a book that exposes the relationship between nature and disease.
Write in the Daily mailVidal stated that University College London (UCL) ecologists report that 335 new and potentially fatal diseases have emerged worldwide since 1945.
More than 200 are zoonoses, viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi and prions.
The microbes that are naturally found in wild and domesticated animals are now being transmitted to humans, according to Vidal.
He added, “When are we really going to wake up to the greatest new threat of our time?
“Mankind has changed its relationship with wildlife and farm animals, destroyed their habitats and crowded them – and the process is only accelerating.
“If we don’t assess the gravity of the situation, this current pandemic may just be a precursor to something even more serious.”
“The nightmare scenario that governments face is the emergence of a new disease – or a new breed of an older one – as contagious as measles and as deadly as Ebola.
“Then humanity could be exposed to a far worse pandemic than Covid-19, possibly on the scale of the black death in which up to every third person in Europe was killed in the Middle Ages.”