Trump vs. "disease X" - 2018-02-23
The World Health Organization recently released a list of eight diseases most likely to spark a public health emergency. Some we know — like the hemorrhagic fevers Ebola, Lassa, and Marburg, which can cause their victims to bleed out from their gums and eyes.
But further down on the WHO list was a threat ominously described as "disease X." The X stands for an unknown: a pathogen lurking out there, currently being harbored in animals, with the potential to make the dangerous leap into humans and spread suffering and death around the globe.
While disease X may sound like something that makes you want to run and hug a stuffed animal, it's exactly the thing public health officials are bracing for. "We don't know where the next threat will come from," former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden told Vox. "But we are certain there will be a next time."