Nipah Virus Hits China With Over 75% Fatality Rate -Experts Says It Could Be Next Pandemic

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China

An outbreak of the Nipah virus in China with a fatality rate of up to 75 percent, could potentially be the next big pandemic after COVID-19, according to a report by the Access to Medicine Foundation.

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“Nipah virus is another emerging infectious disease that causes great concern. Nipah could blow any moment. The next pandemic could be a drug-resistant infection,” The Guardian quoted Jayasree K Iyer, the executive director of the Netherlands-based Access to Medicine Foundation, as saying.

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The virus is rare and spread by fruit bats, which can cause flu-like symptoms and brain damage. It can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, according to the World Health Organization. The usual treatment is supportive care.

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However, an outbreak of the Nipah virus in India’s southern state Kerala in 2018 claimed 17 lives with countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates temporarily placing a ban on frozen and processed fruit and vegetable imports from Kerala as a result of the outbreak there.

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At that time, health officials believed that Nipah outbreaks in Bangladesh and India were perhaps associated with the drinking of date palm juice.

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