Pandemics – disorders that impact on a global scale – might seem like a thing of the past, but every year the World Health Organization (WHO) gathers to discuss strategies to combat them. This year, it added a new entry to its list of potential killer diseases – one unlike any other it has warned us about before.
The WHO publishes its list on an annual basis. It features diseases that the organization thinks need extra research and development funding. Criteria for inclusion range from a lack of vaccines or drugs that could be used to stop the spread of any given disorder, to its overall potential to cause widespread harm.