The Nipah virus, which causes swelling of the brain, is among the viruses that could cause another pandemic, experts say. Warning comes when Covid-19 has killed more than two million people around the world.
“The Nipah virus is one of those viruses that could cause a new pandemic,” warns Dr. Rebecca Dutch, dean of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biochemistry at the University of Kentucky. Some things about Nipah are of great concern. Many of the other viruses in this family have good human-to-human transmission, so there may be concern that a variant of the Nipah virus is increasingly transmitting. The mortality rate for this virus is between 45% -75% depending on the outbreak – so this mortality rate is much higher than for Covid-19. Nipah has been shown to be transmitted through food, as well as when exposed to human or animal secretions.
Dr. Jonathan Epstein, Vice President of Science and Outreach at EcoHealth Alliance added: “We know very little about the genetic diversity of viruses associated with Nipah in bats, and that We don’t want to happen to be a species that appears more contagious among humans. Until now, Nipah spread by close contact with sick people, especially those with respiratory diseases through secretions, but we often do not see large chains of transmission “.
“This is a zoonotic virus and we have to really make an effort now to study human cases and try to minimize the chance of it spreading, so that it never has a chance.” adapt to people, “said Mr. Epstein.
Meanwhile, Dr. Melanie Saville, director of vaccine research and development at the Alliance for Disease Readiness Readiness (CEPI), warns the world needs to be ready for the next “big war”. .
Nipah virus has also been listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the list of pathogens that need urgent research and development.
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