The dangerous virus from Asia that already worries scientists

Still suffering the consequences of SARS-CoV-2, it seems that the scientific community has put the world on alert by unveiling a new virus, which is called Nipah and that it comes from Asia, but what exactly does it consist of? and above all, what are its dangers?

Nipah virus: The dangerous virus from Asia that already worries scientists

The truth is that you may already read about him Nipah virus a few months ago, when we were still in the first wave due to Covid-19, and although it was said that it was not a virus that is currently a risk to our health, it is now that the BBC reports as an expert virus “hunter” named Supaporn Wacharapluesadee who also runs the Thai Red Cross Center for Health Sciences and Emerging Infectious Diseases in Bangkok, has warned of the danger of this virus.

The researcher and scientist is also part of Predict, a global project aimed at detecting as well as stopping diseases that may be susceptible to making the leap from animals to humans, especially bats.

For Wacharapluesadee everyone’s attention must now be focused on the nipah virus. «It is of great concern because there is no treatment and this virus has a high mortality rate“He told the BBC.

In fact, its mortality rate is currently between the 40 and 75%, depending on where the outbreak occurs and it is not an unknown virus to the WHO, what ranks among the top 10 viruses that could be the cause of a public health emergency.

What is the Nipah virus

But what exactly is the Nipah virus like? As we have discussed, it is not a recently discovered virus. In fact, it has been investigated for years and hence its virulence and danger are known, in addition to being quite feared because if contracted, it has a long incubation period that can reach 45 days, so it can be the case that an infected animal or person infects others without knowing that they are sick.

Between the symptoms recognized for this virus we have to mention: cough, sore throat, aches and pains, and encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain that can cause seizures and death.

The virus, which is also known as barking pig syndrome, is a RNA virus found in South and Southeast Asia and that causes severe neurological disease and often fatal in humans.

The bats frugivores that live in Asia, are usually the natural reservoir of the virus, but can also be found in pigs, causing a mild or no apparent illness. The direct transmission from pig to human was responsible for the first and even more devastating outbreak of the Nipah virus in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998-99 with nearly 300 infected human cases and more than 100 deaths.

These Nipah virus outbreaks in Malaysia and Singapore demonstrated that pigs may play a key role in the epidemiology of the virus by acting as an amplifying host: the virus reproduces in the pig and is transmitted by the pig.

Since then, there have been a limited number of other small outbreaks and more sporadic in the human population, all in Southeast Asia, but probably by coming into contact with the bat population. Nipah virus remains a rare disease in both pigs and humans. There are no other reports of outbreaks of Nipah disease in pig populations. However, That is not to say that another large-scale event cannot occur. And, despite the importance of the Nipah virus as an emerging disease with pandemic potential, currently no vaccines or therapies have been approved for human or livestock use.

Hence Wacharapluesadee wishes to warn of the existing risk regarding this virus. Furthermore, it has also been reported that Southeast Asian countries where the Nipah virus is naturally present in the bat population have some of the highest pig densities in the world. The threat that the event will reoccur is a real concern so our guard should not be lowered regarding this “new” virus, which is beginning to be talked about a lot in the middle of the third wave by the SARS-CoV-2.

And is there no vaccine for the Nipah virus? At the moment not that we know of, but in February 2019 a report emerged that explained how the WHO was alerting the scientific authorities in order to develop a vaccine that can be used to vaccinate pigs in this case, since it would take less time to develop and in turn, it is less challenging than a human vaccine can be. Of then, There are two vaccines against Nipah virus in development.

Source: by

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