The Nipah virus outbreak is seen as the trigger for the next pandemic; Is our health sector ready for another zoonosis?

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The coronavirus has endangered global health not only because of its destructive potential, but also because of the lack of information and the doubt about adequate preparation planned since the outbreak of the pandemic. Although most parts of East and Southeast Asia faced a large-scale health risk during the 2003 SARS outbreak, they were not able to properly set up their defenses. and many victims still exceeded expected rates. Because of what the world has observed and experienced throughout the pandemic, there is a need to know more and prepare a competent response in the event that another pandemic spreads globally.

What is the Nipah virus and how likely is it to cause a COVID-like pandemic

(Photo: Andrew Mercer / WikiCommons)

The Nipah virus is now observed by many health authorities and scientific experts. A recent outbreak of the specified virus in India sparked theories on how each country should prepare for a worse threat. And while it may be considered taboo for some, many people are aware of the risks that future infections could hold for us and corresponding ideas on what we can do about it.

COVID-19 vaccines are the biggest breakthrough that has been developed since the start of the pandemic. With the introduction of vaccination, cases have declined in many countries, and most industrial and social activities are gradually returning to normal. Despite the threats of the multiple mutations of SARS-CoV-2, vaccine availability offers a very transparent path to ensure public health safety and reduce cases compared to the first waves where global health authorities are stunned and answers empty. are close at hand. Although a batch of prepared vaccines presents the most effective solution for an upcoming pandemic, it is still difficult or impossible to predict a new type of virus.

The first detected case of the Nipah virus was recorded in Malaysia in 1998. The case appears to be far behind the clock, but a recent report from Science Times confirmed a new outbreak of the same virus. Worst of all, it claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy in India. Due to the unexpected event, many experts expressed their scientific concerns about it. Like the coronavirus, the Nipah virus could mutate after its initial presentation and could be transmitted to a wider population if not recognized today.

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The Nipah virus and the preparation of global health protocols

The Nipah virus shares a similar zoonotic characteristic with COVID-19. However, the Nipah virus is considered a paramyxovirus, a devastating type of virus that could inflict as much health problems as the coronavirus. Paramyxovirus can impact an individual’s health through acute respiratory illness and, like the coronavirus, it can be transmitted through airborne droplets. Among the most common hosts of the Nipah virus are bats and flying foxes located in the heart of South and Southeast Asia.

According to a study published in the journal PNAS, titled “Dynamics of the Nipah virus in bats and implications for human fallout”, most transmissions of the Nipah virus occur by either drinking raw date palm sap. or simply in the presence of an overwhelming population of bats in an area. Coronavirus cases highlight the fact that transmissions and mutations are most frequent during human-to-human contact, and not just through natural interactions.

Today, the known spread of the Nipah virus is only recorded from close contact with the primary patient. University of Reading virology expert Ian Jones said in an IFL Science report that while the Nipah virus poses no threat of a global pandemic today, awareness and improved protocols for public health should always be assured.

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