While 57 percent of scientists believe that the influenza virus will trigger the next pandemic, 21 percent are leaning towards "Disease X", a virus that has not yet been identified. Other deadly viruses such as Lassa, Nipah, Ebola and Zika viruses are considered by only 1 percent to 2 percent of scientists as a possible source of the next pandemic.

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In an international study, 57 percent of scientists believe that "a strain of influenza virus" will be the cause of the next deadly pandemic.

Jon Salmanton-García of the University of Cologne, who led the study, said the belief that the flu is the world's biggest pandemic threat is based on long-term research showing that the flu is constantly evolving and mutating.

"Every winter the flu virus emerges. You can describe these outbreaks as small pandemics. They are more or less under control because they are not lethal enough, but this will not remain the case forever," Garcia said.

THE HIGHEST PROBABILITY AFTER THE FLU: "DISEASE X"

According to 21 percent of the experts surveyed, the next most likely cause of a pandemic after the flu could be a virus still unknown to science, dubbed "Disease X".

These scientists believe that the next pandemic will be caused by an as yet unidentified microorganism that will appear out of nowhere, just like the Sars-CoV-2 virus, the cause of Covid-19.