A leading scientist has said that authorities need to be aware of whole range of other viruses as there will "absolutely" be another pandemic-causing 'Disease X'.
Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at The University of Edinburgh, has said that scientists are discovering one or two viruses that are transmissible to humans every one or two years, with the rate having been constant for more than 50 years.
With COVID-19-related deaths surpassing 100,000 in the UK, Woolhouse claims that the next pandemic is inevitable, saying that it's a case of "when" it will hit, not "if", and that authorities should be acting ahead of schedule and planning for this next disease in advance.
Speaking to ITV, Professor Woolhouse said: "I'm not sure that there's a lot of thinking going on about the next threat, while the world is concentrating full tilt on dealing with the one it's got. I absolutely agree that there needs to be more thought about that. Unfortunately, I like to put it, we did a lot of work, we did our revision, we went into the exam room, and they gave us the wrong paper."
Wollhouse said that, in 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) were advised by him and his colleagues to add something called 'Disease X' to its list of priority diseases.
"We thought that the next emerging pandemic might be a virus that we don't even know about yet," he said. "Quite frankly, we thought it was the most likely scenario. It's picking up the ones that are actually going to cause the next pandemic out of this constant trickle of new viruses that's coming along. Occasionally one comes along, so spotting the rare event is always hard."