Malaysia must be prepared for Disease X, says virology expert

26 Sep 2023 09:09am
Pix for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX
Pix for illustration purpose only. - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Malaysia must be prepared to face the spread of Disease X, a potential threat to humans that could claim many lives if not contained early, says Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) virology expert Professor Dr Zamberi Sekawi.

While there have been no reported cases of Disease X to date, Zamberi said it is important to take the World Health Organisation's (WHO) warnings seriously.

"We need to be prepared, even though it is not yet certain whether the symptoms of this virus are similar to Ebola or Covid-19.

"The reports issued by the WHO need to be taken seriously so that this phenomenon can be contained early before it becomes a pandemic capable of killing more human lives," he told Sinar yesterday.

Zamberi also suggested that the government should maintain close communication with international health authorities to monitor potential cases or the spread of diseases that could become a pandemic within the country.

He added that preventive measures such as wearing face masks and frequent handwashing are essential to containing the spread of Disease X.

"These preventive measures also depend on the disease's transmission, whether through respiratory means or fluid channels.

"The actions to contain Disease X require more control compared to Covid-19, and the government needs to be more vigilant in ensuring that any potential infections that could spread rapidly are met with early preventive measures," he stressed.

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