Scientists are warning that the Nipah virus could be the next pandemic which could hit globally which takes 45 days to show symptoms which kills three in four patients.
The Nipah virus is zoonotic which can jump from animals to humans which has a deadly mortality rate of up to 75%.
The World Health Organization (WHO) have identified the Nipah virus as one of the top candidates for the next pandemic.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper, Dr Melanie Saville, head of vaccine research and development at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations warned that the world must start to prepare for the next big outbreak post-Covid.
Dr Saville added, “Nipah is one of the viruses that could absolutely be the cause of a new pandemic.
“Several things about Nipah are very concerning.
“Most crucially we shouldn’t just be looking at Nipah.
“We know that a future pandemic is inevitable, and there are many other emerging infectious diseases that are recognised as having pandemic potential.”
The health website Gavi Alliance, gave a grim warning that the virus does transmit to humans, there is fear it could be devastating.
The Gavi Alliance said, “If the virus spreads to other parts of India and beyond, the potential for it to escalate into an epidemic, or pandemic, is high.
“Even though high case-fatality rates can sometimes actually prevent diseases from spreading, because it can mean a patient dies before they have a chance to pass it on to others, if the virus were to mutate to spread more easily between people, the outcome would likely be utterly devastating.”
Speaking to the A24 News Agency, Dr Veasna Duong, from the Virology Unit at the Pasteur Institute in Battambang, Cambodia, also issued her concern over the spread of the virus.
Dr Duong said, “We have a virus that can infect humans, it can cause disease and kill, there is an interface present between humans and bats, and human behavior is a factor, where people don’t understand the virus.
“In my opinion, the virus is among the top five candidates for the next pandemic.
“It takes only one chance that the virus passes to humans and spreads like wildfire in human populations and we will not be able to stop it and control its spread as quickly as possible.
“This is because the Nipah virus has been known, in different outbreaks, to cause a fatality higher than 75%, imagine hundreds of millions infected with this virus.”
The Gavi Alliance revealed that the Nipah “pandemic threat is high” which is spread from bats living near tourist hotspots, schools and markets which can transmit easily to humans.
In 2018 89% of people who were infected with the Nipah virus died during a local epidemic in Southern India.
The Alliance claimed that if Nipah were to spread outside India then it would be “utterly devastating” as it would spread globally with a horrific mortality rate and takes 45 days for symptoms to show.