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Recently, an extremely deadly rare virus, the Nipah virus, broke out in southern India. In Kozhikode, Kerala, at least 9 people died of the disease - 3 of them were diagnosed and the remaining 6 are still being tested. In addition, at least 25 people were hospitalized.
Nipah virus in pig lung
Nipah virus is a new and deadly virus. For the past two decades, scientists only know that it will be transmitted by bats to other animals, including humans. At present, this disease cannot be cured. It can carry out interpersonal communication, and the mortality rate of infected persons is as high as 40-75%. This means that the Nipah virus may set off a fatal plague. Therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) has placed the Nipah virus as an urgent research priority. In addition to it, there are Ebola and SARS.
In 1998, the Nipah virus first appeared in Malaysia and infected 265 people. They were infected with encephalitis after contact with pigs or patients. In that outbreak, 105 people died and the death rate was 40%. Since then, India and Bangladesh have seen a number of smaller outbreaks - 280 infections and 211 deaths, with an average mortality rate of 75%.
When the Nipah virus was first transmitted from pigs to humans, the authorities killed more than one million pigs to prevent the spread of the disease. Later, the researchers found that the natural host of this virus is a few fruit bats. In some cases, humans become infected with the jujube sap contaminated by fruit bats. In the latest outbreak, people found the mangoes that were bitten by bats in the homes of the three deceased.
The symptoms of infection with Nipah virus are varied. Many patients develop fever and headaches first and then become sleepy and confused. Some patients also present respiratory symptoms resembling flu. In some cases the symptoms develop into a coma within a day or two. Survivors may leave health sequelae such as personality changes and long-term paralysis. In some cases, the virus reactivated even months or years later, causing illness and death.
Close contact with infected animals or humans can cause diseases. In the current epidemic outbreak, at least one deceased person was the nurse who cared for the patient. Research shows that the patient's saliva may spread the disease.
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