While the most diverse countries in the world are trying to control the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus, India has started to register cases of another disease that seems to be as dangerous as Covid-19 and that has even claimed victims.
According to Indian health officials, the Nipah virus is considered to be one of the deadliest to ever infect humans. The last time there was an outbreak of Nipah in India resulted in the death of 17 of the 18 infected patients. Now, Kerala’s state government is struggling to prevent another Nipah outbreak after it killed a 12-year-old child last Sunday.
According to specialists, the disease is less contagious than Covid-19, but in a 45-day incubation period, without a cure or vaccine, it has an approximate 20% chance of causing neurological symptoms among survivors. Nipah still has a mortality rate of approximately 75%.
The CBS News newspaper reported that, last Monday (6), authorities identified and tested 188 people who came into contact with the boy. In addition, they have also cordoned off the entire area about two miles from the child’s home in an attempt to contain the outbreak should contact tracking measures fail.
So far, two health professionals who have treated the patient are showing symptoms of Nipah infection. Both professionals were hospitalized and are currently awaiting the results of their exams.
Also according to the paper, in September of last year, White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci warned that humanity has entered a “pandemic” era in which virus outbreaks, including Nipah, will become increasingly common.