Scientists are concerned about brain-swelling Nipah disease, which has a death rate of up to 75% and may become the next “big” virus.
The disease, which is transmitted by fruit bats, has raised concerns among experts because of its high mutation rate and extremely fatality.
Vomiting, seizures, and brain swelling are some of the symptoms of the virus that first jumped from pigs to farmers in Malaysia in 1999.
Nipah’s death rate is between 40 and 75%, well above the 1% rate for coronaviruses, according to the World Health Organization.
The body named the disease one of 16 priority pathogens to research because of its potential to cause an epidemic. The sun Reports.
According to experts, a total of 260 viruses were epidemic.
Nipah is of particular concern because it has a high rate of mutation and an incubation period of up to 45 days, meaning a person can spread it for more than a month before getting sick.
Scientists fear that the next pandemic could be far worse than the coronavirus crisis.
Dr. Melanie Saville, director of vaccine research and development for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, told The Sun that the world must be ready for the “big one”.
She said that while there are currently no nipah outbreaks in the world, it is “extremely likely” that another outbreak will occur in the future.
“Nipah is one of the viruses that could absolutely be the cause of a new pandemic. Some things about Nipah are very worrying,” she told The Sun.
Pigs got the disease after eating infected mangoes before passing the virus on to humans.
Dr. Saville added, “Most importantly, we shouldn’t just be looking at Nipah.
“We know that a future pandemic is inevitable, and there are many other infectious diseases emerging that are recognized to have pandemic potential.”
She said known diseases like influenza could lead to pandemics, as could unidentified viruses known as “Disease X”.