Fact Check: 'Disease X' Is NOT A Secret And Deadly Virus


  • szerzõ: Lead Stories
Fact Check: 'Disease X' Is NOT A Secret And Deadly Virus Hypothetical

Is "Disease X" a mysterious virus deadlier than COVID-19 and kept a secret from the general public? No, that's not true: Disease X is a term used by the World Health Organization to describe a hypothetical virus that is presently unknown, serving as a strategy for preparedness in the event of a global emergency like a pandemic.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on January 15, 2024. It opened (translated from Hungarian to English by Lead Stories staff):

Twenty times more deadly than COVID, but we don't know anything specific about it yet, because they keep it as a secret. What's that? That is, dear people, the so called 'Disease X'.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Képernyőkép 2024-01-18 171218.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Jan 17 18:15:59 2024 UTC)

The video fails to describe the context: "Disease X" is a term the World Health Organization (WHO) uses to refer to a yet unknown, hypothetical virus. The definition (archived here) on the WHO website states:

Disease X represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease.

The concept aims to enhance early and comprehensive research and development preparedness in the event of an unknown threat referred to as Disease X. Notably, Disease X was already incorporated into the WHO's prioritized strategies for emergencies in 2018 (archived here), predating the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic by two years.

The creator of the video on TikTok reviews the Hungarian translation of the WHO definition but contends that it lacks meaning. She claims that additional information will come to light after the January 2024 World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, where the topic is being discussed.

Lead Stories has previously debunked two similar claims about the WEF and Disease X.


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