Recognize signs and symptoms of the Nipah Virus, new pandemic threat

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ILLUSTRATION source bbc.com
ILLUSTRATION source bbc.com

UNAIR NEWS – The Covid-19 pandemic does not seem to end in the near future. Even though a vaccine has been found, the number of confirmed cases keeps increasing and setting new records. Based on the latest data compiled by covid19.go.id  on February 1, 2021, there were 1,089,308 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Indonesia.

Although all countries are still challenged with the Covid-19 pandemic, another threat of new pandemic has also raised concerns for scientists. It is caused by the Nipah virus. The virus can cause infection and can lead to the next pandemic.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on its website says that the Nipah virus is a zoonotic disease transmitted from animals to humans. Moreover, it can be transmitted through contaminated food or by direct person-to-person transmission.

“Initially, this virus was first transmitted by fruit bats. Then it spread to pigs and pigs to humans. From here, the process of successive transmission occurs, ”said Dr. Agung Dwi Wahyu Widodo dr., M.Si, M.Ked.Klin, SpMK, a lecturer in the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR).

LECTURER of the Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) and a doctor in Dr. Soetomo Hospital, Dr. Agung Dwi Wahyu Widodo dr., M.Si. (Photo: Personal doc)

The virus was first discovered in Malaysia in 1999. In fact, this virus had caused an outbreak among pig farmers there in the same year. The outbreak in Malaysia has also affected Singapore where transmission of the virus was caused by direct contact with sick pigs or contaminated tissue.

In 2001, the same epidemic also occurred in Bangladesh. WHO reported that in 2001 in Siliguri, India, the transmission of this virus occurred in healthcare services, with 75 percent of cases occurred in hospital staff and visitors.

WHO said that other countries could also experience the same outbreak because the Pteropus bat species and other species could cause the transmission of this virus. They are found in Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia, Madagascar, Philippines and Thailand.

The signs and symptoms of the virus resemble those of influenza. “The initial symptoms that occur are like people with influenza. His body chills, with fever, aching muscles,” said Agung.

“Then these symptoms will continue, the viral infection then spread. This virus can also cause respiratory problems and infections of the brain,” concluded the member of Indonesian Doctors Association (IDI) East Java Covid-19 Task Force Board of Experts. (*)

Author: Icha Nur Imami Puspita

Editor: Feri Fenoria

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