The mortality rate among those infected with the Nipah virus is much higher compared to those infected with Covid-19 according to Dr Rajiv Bahl, the director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Dr Bahl claims that the Nipah virus has a mortality rate between 40-70 per cent compared to Covid’s 2-3 per cent.
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In 2021, Gavi, the vaccine alliance suggested that Nipah could be the next pandemic and said the development of drugs and vaccines for the disease was becoming increasingly more urgent.
“Nipah virus can kill as many as three out of four people it infects. Since the fruit bat that carries the virus often comes into contact with humans, here we explain why the development of drugs and vaccines for the disease is becoming increasingly more urgent.“
Prior to that in 2020 , the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged a five-year, US$1.6 billion commitment to deliver lifesaving vaccines to the world’s poorest countries.
Some schools and offices in the Indian state of Kerala were shut this week after the virus killed two people in the fourth outbreak since 2018.
News24online reports: The ICMR is currently procuring 20 more doses of monoclonal antibody from Australia for Nipah virus treatment. However, Bahl noted that this medicine must be administered during the early stages of infection, as efficacy trials have not yet been conducted. Currently, no one in India has received these antibody doses.
As of now, six people have tested positive for Nipah virus in Kerala, with two fatalities. In response, restrictions have been tightened in the Kozhikode district, including the closure of educational institutions, parks, and beaches, as well as the ban on prayer gatherings and public events.
What Is Nipah Virus?
Nipah virus is a zoonotic illness transmitted from animals to humans, often via fruit bats. It can also spread through contaminated food and direct human-to-human contact. The symptoms of Nipah virus infection are similar to those of COVID-19, including cough, sore throat, muscle pain, encephalitis (brain swelling), and more.
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