Home » Disease X, alarm for the new virus. Ilaria Capua: «It will arrive, we must prepare immediately»

Disease X, alarm for the new virus. Ilaria Capua: «It will arrive, we must prepare immediately»

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Disease X, alarm for the new virus.  Ilaria Capua: «It will arrive, we must prepare immediately»

Is disease X, feared by the World Health Organization (WHO), on the way? “Yes, it will come.” The message was reiterated by virologist Ilaria Capua, today in Milan on the sidelines of an appointment at Casa Recordati – of the Recordati Lectures 2024 cycle – where the expert was invited to talk about circular health. «Even if we only look at influenza pandemics, and do not put other infections in the cauldron, as far as we know in the last century, from 1900 to 1999, there have been 3. If you do the math, influenza pandemics arrive every 11-40 years , then there will be another pandemic. It could be caused by an influenza virus, which is one of the main ones under investigation, or it could be caused by other viruses. But it will be there.”

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Illness X, Ilaria Capua: «Let’s get ready»

It’s not a question of if, but when it will arrive, he confirms, commenting to beraking latest news Salute on the warning coming from the UN health agency. “What we really have to do is prepare ourselves, because otherwise we cannot consider ourselves Homo sapiens, but we move directly to the ‘Homo stupidus’ category”, observes the scientist who after years based in the USA has returned to Italy, to Bologna, where she is a Senior Fellow of Global Health at Johns Hopkins.

Even on an individual level, the invitation is “not to forget. I think about the phobia of masks – he reflects – When I was in the United States I had masks at home. Forever. Because I knew that a pandemic would arrive, and I knew that when it arrived there would be no masks.” Hence, she highlights, «the importance of preparing. And we know what needs to be done. It’s not a question of saying ‘oh my God, where do I start’.”

When he’ll come?

What time horizon do we have? «We should be ready tomorrow – warns Capua – It is clear that we cannot know when disease So prepare yourself, don’t forget and continue to apply virtuous behaviors such as washing your hands”: a simple and powerful anti-contagion gesture “which already now – he underlines – is being done less”.

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Measles

‘Waiting’ for disease X, we have to deal with an increase in measles cases. «If you don’t get vaccinated, measles comes back. That’s how it is”, he says, referring to the latest data on the infectious disease which has become ‘special observation’ in Europe, which is grappling with an increase in cases, as highlighted today by the ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control). «Two viruses have been eradicated, therefore eliminated from the face of the earth: the smallpox virus and the rinderpest virus», recalls Capua. «All the others are viruses that are kept at bay by vaccinations, except those like HIV and others for which there is no vaccine. But the anti-vax wave has unfortunately also percolated into other spaces. And so, here are the measles cases. Was this to be expected? Of course,” he concludes.

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