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Russian Virologist Warns of “Nipah” Virus and Potential Pandemic
Russian virologist Nikolai Kryuchkov has issued a warning about the dangerous “Nipah” virus, which has recently been identified as an outbreak in India. He cautions that there is a significant risk of a new global pandemic.
Origin and Spread of the Virus
In an interview with the newspaper “Izvestia,” Kryuchkov explains that the virus originates from bats and is currently spreading in India, Bangladesh, and several countries in Southeast Asia. The virus undergoes genetic changes and mutations, leading scientists to believe that it could potentially cause a pandemic.
Current Situation and Preventive Measures
Currently, only a limited number of cases have been reported, and the overall infection rate is not high. As a precautionary measure, individuals are advised against traveling to countries where infections with the “Nipah” virus have been documented.
Kryuchkov emphasizes the importance of following proper hygiene practices, such as thoroughly washing fruits and vegetables, as well as practicing good hand hygiene and wearing masks. Vaccines and anti-viral medications specific to this virus are currently unavailable.
Previous Outbreaks and Naming of the Virus
The disease initially surfaced in 1998 among pig farmers in Malaysia who lived near the Nipah River. Consequently, the virus was named after the river. Despite extensive research, no vaccine has been developed to combat this deadly virus, which exhibits a fatality rate of up to 75% among infected individuals.
Transmission and Symptoms
The “Nipah” virus can be transmitted from animals to humans, as well as from infected individuals to others. Additionally, contaminated food and respiratory droplets can act as modes of transmission. The disease may exhibit no symptoms or manifest as a mild or severe respiratory infection or even encephalitis. In severe cases, patients can slip into a coma and succumb to the disease.
Source: newspaper “Izvestia”