• Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
  • Last Update : 10:00 pm

ED: Let’s not underestimate the dangers of Nipah

  • Published at 02:33 am February 2nd, 2021
nipah virus
Photo: BIGSTOCK

Let us not wait until things do get out of hand

One of the lessons of Covid-19 has been that we should never underestimate the dangers of a new outbreak. This does not mean, of course, that we should give in to paranoia; however, we must stay vigilant, listen to the experts, and take the right measures before it is too late. 

Regarding Covid-19, many experts believe that a worldwide pandemic could have been avoided if the right containment measures had been taken at the right time early on, and that when the travel restrictions and Covid-19 protocols finally did come into play, it was already too late. 

Nipah virus is the new threat on the horizon: An outbreak has been observed in China, and the fatality rate is 75%. Worryingly, according to a report by Access to Medicine Foundation, the large pharmaceutical companies right now are unprepared to tackle this problem, with resources being focused elsewhere.

According the World Health Organization, Nipah virus, which is rare, is spread by fruit bats, and causes brain damage and flu-like symptoms. Just in 2018, a Nipah outbreak in neighbouring India took 17 lives. While right now these outbreaks may seem localized, with fatality numbers still small enough to not cause widespread alarm, we should be more aware by now about how fast a deadly virus can spread, and how the death toll can get out of hand.

Let us not wait until things do get out of hand. We should not be moving from crisis to crisis; rather, we should prepare, take the right measures beforehand, and nip these threats in the bud. There is no worthier goal, after all, than preventing the large-scale loss of human life.

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