A team of researchers from the University of Aix-Marseille discovered the virus under a frozen lake in Yakutia, Siberia. The virus, which has been missing for 48,500 years, is known to attack single-celled organisms.
Professor Jean-Michel Clavery, the director of the study, issued a warning to medical authorities. In fact, he and his team estimate that one-fifth of the land is permanently frozen. Although the currently discovered virus does not appear to pose a threat to humans, thawing it could release deadly microbes that have been dormant for thousands of years. So, the team’s concern is that Russian scientists searching for viruses preserved in permafrost could accidentally trigger a new pandemic.
The threat of unknown viruses that can spread to humans and cause large-scale epidemics is called “Disease X”.
“Disease X” is a theoretical concept that refers to a mysterious and fictional virus that, in the future, will spread throughout the population and threaten humanity. This “disease X” was theorized by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and added to the WHO’s list of “international threats” two years ago. In early 2020 and before it spread around the world, WHO experts feared that Covid-19 was “Disease X”.
SARS and MRES – two diseases from the same family as Covid-19 – are classified as potential “disease X”. As well as the Ebola or Zika virus.
Last year, the WHO warned that the next pandemic could have the scale of the Black Death, which killed 75 million people.
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