No one doubts anymore: "Disease X" will appear
Allegedly, one of the most secretive centers for scientific research in Great Britain, "Porton Down", is assigned a task to stop the next pandemic, BBC writes.Source: Vecernji list
The journalist of the British public service, who managed to visit that laboratory, stated that in order to enter it, it is necessary to go through extremely strict protection measures.
Executive Director of the Health Security Agency of the United Kingdom (UKHSA) prof. Dame Jenny Harries, who runs those laboratories, says that "COVID is not a one-time case".
"We say that COVID was the biggest public health incident in this century, but I don't think any of us think that another century will pass before the next danger," she adds.
The combination of climate change, urbanization and people living closer to animals are the potential source of many new diseases that are transmitted to humans. That is why this scientist believes that we are facing a "rising tide of risk". The BBC writes that "Porton Down" is located in the village of Wiltshire, near Salisbury and that it is one of the few places in the world equipped to research some of the most dangerous viruses and bacteria that exist, which are stored in the freezers there.
Adjacent buildings include the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, part of the Ministry of Defense, where the Novichok nerve agent was confirmed to have been used in the Salisbury poisonings.
Although the vaccine lab was reportedly hastily constructed as part of the emergency response to COVID, as the intense demands of the pandemic subsided, the focus shifted, with the new vaccine research center focused on three types of threats: known infections that are more difficult to deal with, such as antibiotic-resistant superbugs, potential threats that could cause problems such as bird flu and the new variant of COVID and the so-called "disease X" means some unforeseen new disease, which, like COVID, could surprise the world.
Scientists from that laboratory, for example, the BBC writes, and Večernji list reports, noticed that one of the omicron variants could bypass part of the protection provided by the COVID vaccines, so they are still monitoring new variants by growing them in the laboratory.
"And if a new disease does appear," adds Prof. Harries, "we have to stop it at the earliest stage".