There is a deadly virus that’s called Nipah, which is carried by bats and which has created human outbreaks in South East Asia. Apparently, it has a severe epidemic potential. This comes from global health and infectious disease specialists.
The Nipah virus was first found in 1999 in Singapore and in Malaysia and has come with outbreaks, with mortality rates between 40% and 90%. It was spread across thousands of km to India and Bangladesh. However, there are no vaccines or drugs against it, according to specialists.
It has been 20 years since its discovery, and we still do not have an antidote for the threat coming from the Nipah virus. This comes from Richard Hatchett, chief executive of the CEPI Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. He is the leader of the Nipah conference that’s taking place in Singapore this week.
How dangerous is the Nipah virus?
CEPI is a partnership between disease experts and public, private, and civil organizations. It was started in 2017, and they are trying to speed up the evolution of vaccines against new and unknown infectious diseases. One of its targets is Nipah, which is a virus that’s carried by some types of fruit bats and pigs. The condition can also be transmitted from person to person and through contaminated food.
In Bangladesh, it has caused many outbreaks since 2001. In 2018, there was an outbreak in Kerala in India, which killed 17 people.
The outbreaks of this virus have been confirmed in South and Southeast Asia. Still, the virus really has serious epidemic potential due to the because Pteropus fruit bats, which carry the Nipah virus, which is found in tropics and sub-tropics. Since the virus can also pass from person to person, it could also spread in very populated areas, as well.