Humanity is facing an unknown number of new and potentially fatal viruses emerging from the rainforests of Africa, said Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum, who helped discover the Ebola virus in 1976.
“We are now in a world where new pathogens come out. And that’s what constitutes a threat for humanity,” Tamfum warned in an interview with CNN.
According to the scientist, a patient in DR Congo presented symptoms of hemorrhagic fever, but tests for Ebola and other known diseases were negative. In turn, Christian Bompalanga, head of the Ingende district medical service, confirmed that this is not the first case of its kind.
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It is possible that the woman who observed Tamfum was infected with the so-called ‘disease X’: caused by an unknown virus just as contagious as coronavirus, but with a mortality of 50% to 90% compared to Ebola.
For now, ‘disease X’ is nothing more than a hypothesis, but if confirmed, it can have devastating consequences. Professor Tamfum explains that there is a great threat posed by zoonotic diseases: contagious diseases that get transmitted from animals to humans. These include yellow fever, various forms of influenza, rabies, brucellosis, and Lyme disease.
The scientist affirms that the consequences of future pandemics will be much more serious than COVID-19.