Homehealthcare News

WHO is bringing together 300 scientists from the world over to detect outbreaks and pandemics

WHO is bringing together 300 scientists from the world over to detect outbreaks and pandemics

WHO is bringing together 300 scientists from the world over to detect outbreaks and pandemics
Read Time
3 Min(s) Read
Profile image

By CNBCTV18.com Nov 22, 2022 4:25:37 PM IST (Updated)

The World Health Organization (WHO) is holding meetings where experts will recommend a list of priority pathogens that need further research and investment.

The World Health Organization (WHO) decided to launch a global scientific process to update the list of 'priority' pathogens—agents that can cause outbreaks or pandemics. The move was aimed to guide global investment, research and development (R&D), especially in vaccines, tests and treatments.

Recommended Articles

View All

"The WHO is convening over 300 scientists who will consider the evidence on over 25 virus families and bacteria, as well as Disease X," the global health agency said in a statement. At the meeting, the experts will recommend a list of priority pathogens that need further research and investment. "The process will include both scientific and public health criteria, as well as criteria related to socioeconomic impact, access, and equity," the organisation said.
"Disease X" is a term used to indicate a serious epidemic that could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease. The WHO places "Disease X" on a shortlist of pathogens considered a "priority disease" for research, per the list published in 2018.
Other priority diseases listed are COVID-19, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus disease, Lassa fever, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Nipah and henipaviral diseases, Rift Valley fever and Zika.
Recently, an expert behind the Pfizer vaccine raised the alarm over a possible flu pandemic driven by an influenza virus. Kathrin Jansen, the former head of vaccine R&D at Pfizer, said in an interview that an influenza-based pandemic is just a matter of time. "The question is, does it come tomorrow or 50 years from now?" she was quoted by STAT as saying.
Why is this targeting of priority pathogens important?
Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said the targeting priority pathogens and virus families is essential for a fast and effective epidemic and pandemic response. "Without significant R&D investments before the COVID-19 pandemic, it would not have been possible to have safe and effective vaccines developed in record time," he said.
After the priority pathogens are detected, the WHO R&D Blueprint for epidemics will develop R&D roadmaps which lay out knowledge gaps and research priorities. "This list of priority pathogens has become a reference point for the research community on where to focus energies to manage the next threat,” said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Chief Scientist.
Check out our in-depth Market Coverage, Business News & get real-time Stock Market Updates on CNBC-TV18. Also, Watch our channels CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC Bajar Live on-the-go!

Previous Article

European MNC pharma player may pick significant stake in Unichem Laboratories

Next Article

Two-thirds of first-wave COVID-19 patients had long-term symptoms, says study

Most Read

Market Movers

View All
Top GainersTop Losers
CurrencyCommodities
CompanyPriceChng%Chng