The story of Homo Sapiens is the story of the fight againstviruses. Sometimes luck is not on our side, but we do not always remember this, especially in the era of scientific and technological progress. Meanwhile, scientists do not exclude the possibility of a pandemic caused by viruses, which most of us are simply not familiar with. One of these viruses is the Nipach virus, the natural host of which are the fruit bats of the genus Pteropodidae, and people can transmit it to each other. For 20 years, researchers have been well aware that the Nipah virus can cause a pandemic, however, according to Reuters, there is currently no cure for the Nipah virus. The first ever conference on this threat is about to take place in Singapore. But what is the Nipach virus?
What is known about Nipah virus?
The first recorded outbreak of the Nipach virus,that hit Malaysia in 1999, killing 105 of 265 people. Since then, researchers have observed numerous outbreaks in Singapore, Bangladesh, and India. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Bangladesh, Nipah virus outbreaks have occurred “almost every year” since 2001. Nipah virus (NiV) got its name in honor of Sungai Nip, a Malaysian village in which farmers became infected with the virus. It was only possible to stop the infection by destroying more than a million pigs, which also led to huge financial losses. But it turned out that pigs were just carriers of the disease, and fruit bats are a natural host. At the same time, Nipah does not exert any influence on the mice themselves. The virus is transmitted with the saliva, urine or feces of bats, and pigs and humans simply need to make contact with them.
The disease develops gradually, and itsthe main danger lies in symptoms that, at an early stage, resemble flu: vomiting, dizziness, and sore throat. Some people have a cough. With further development, Nipach can cause inflammation of the brain. WHO estimates that between 40 and 75% of people with Nipah virus die. Death occurs depending on the speed of detection of the disease and the assistance provided. According to WHO recommendations, people suffering from this virus should be in intensive care units. However, in many places where Nipah is found, patients do not have access to medical care, which contributes to the spread of the disease.
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In which regions does the Nipach virus rage?
Today virus outbreaks recordedmainly in Asia. However, WHO is concerned that the virus is transmitted to other animals, including dogs and cats. Outbreaks in Malaysia and Singapore occurred due to infection with the Nipah virus of pigs, and people became ill as a result of working with animals and eating meat. But outbreaks in Bangladesh cause serious concern among virologists. The fact is that fruit bats hang on date palms, and their saliva and other secretions can easily get into the unprocessed date palm juice - a popular drink in Bangladesh. It is this factor that underlies most outbreaks of the disease, although people can also infect each other. WHO also notes that, as with many diseases that can be infected by animals, environmental stress is a huge factor in the spread of the disease.
Bangladesh is getting more complicateddrinking date untreated juice. In areas where outbreaks of Nipah virus predominate, people live in close proximity with bats. This is due to deforestation for agricultural purposes or for the construction of new settlements. Today, scientists need to take urgent measures to stop the spread of the virus, since there is no vaccine against Nipah.