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At least 13 people have died in India after an outbreak of a rare disease that health officials warn could cause a global epidemic.
Emergency measures have been imposed across the southwestern state of Kerala following the emergence of the nipah virus, which causes flu-like symptoms leading to an agonising brain-swelling condition known as encephalitis.
Those afflicted by the disease, which has a mortality rate of 70% and has no vaccine, can also be sent in to a coma.
Health experts have been flown over to help contain the virus, which is listed alongside ebola and zika as one of eight priority diseases the World Health Organisation believes could cause a global epidemic.
Local media reports that close to 200 patients in Kozhikode and Malappuram are receiving hospital treatment, with 26 under observation and three under intensive treatment.
Nipah is on the World Health Organization’s priority list of emerging diseases that could cause a global pandemic, alongside Zika and Ebola.
Virologists who have studied Nipah’s behavior in animals think that in humans, it initially targets the respiratory system before spreading to the nervous system and brain. Most patients who die succumb to an inflammation of blood vessels and a swelling of the brain that occurs in the later stages of the disease.
Bats can also transmit Nipah to pigs and other livestock, which can then pass the infection onto humans. And humans can spread the virus through saliva and possibly other bodily fluids. One victim in the latest outbreak was a 31-year-old nurse who had been treating Nipah patients.
All animal samples, including those from bats, cattle, goats and pigs from Kerala, sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases, in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, were negative for Nipah, said animal husbandry officer A. Mohandas.
The department was now collecting samples of fruit bats from Perambra, the suspected epicentre of the infection and nearby areas, Mohandas said.
Separately, tests run on dead bats in Himachal Pradesh were negative for Nipah, an official there said.
The dead bats were discovered on the roof of a school and had triggered a new Nipah scare last week.
Nipah virus was identified in 1998, when it caused an outbreak of neurological and respiratory disease on pig farms in peninsular Malaysia, resulting in 257 human cases, including 105 human deaths and the culling of one million pigs. In Singapore, 11 cases, including one death, occurred in abattoir workers exposed to pigs imported from the affected Malaysian farms. The Nipah virus has been classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a Category C agent. The name "Nipah" refers to the place, Kampung Baru Sungai Nipah in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan, the source of the human case from which Nipah virus was first isolated.
originally posted by: testingtesting
a reply to: peter vlar
So it could be weaponised?
Could someone get a sample cultivate it and set it free at an airport?.
Like twelve monkeys?.
How long before you show symptoms?.