What is the Nipah Virus, Will it Grow to Become a Pandemic?

Published February 2nd, 2021 - 07:39 GMT
Nipah Virus. (Shutterstock/ File Photo)
Nipah Virus. (Shutterstock/ File Photo)
Nipah virus' death rate rounds between 40%-75% as so far it doesn't have any cure drugs or vaccine.

New weird virus cases have been discovered in China recently causing wide uncertainty; whether it's a developed variant from coronavirus or just a new virus which may grow to become another global pandemic? 

People are more worried about the Nipah virus as its death rate rounds between 40%-75% and till this moment pharmaceutical companies haven’t developed any drugs or vaccines against it. 

Nipah virus, whose scientific name is Nipah henipavirus, is a bat-borne virus that causes Nipah virus infection in humans and other animals, a disease with a high mortality rate.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nipah virus was first discovered in an outbreak in Malaysia in 1998, and has infected about 600 people between 1998 and 2015.

The Nipah virus leaves people with flu-like symptoms as well as brain damage and according to the WHO it can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain.

Compared to coronavirus, WHO revealed that it will not label nipah virus as a pandemic as in 17 years it has affected around 600 people only while COVID-19 has so far infected over 100 million people worldwide in one year leaving 2.23 million others dead.


In the report, WHO organization stated: "Infected people initially develop symptoms including fever, headaches, myalgia (muscle pain), vomiting and sore throat. This can be followed by dizziness, drowsiness, altered consciousness, and neurological signs that indicate acute encephalitis."

Although Nipah virus has caused only a few known outbreaks in Asia, it has infected a wide range of animals and causes severe disease and death in people.

Translation: “The Nipah virus is not a new virus and it was discovered in 1999, it has been spreading at a low rate in southern Asia. The Guardian has talked about the absence of the virus vaccine or medical drugs for an existing dangerous virus, which can easily spread causing a horrible pandemic. The aim of the article is to highlight the absence of research and mistakes repetition.”

Nevertheless, the virus’ incubation period ranges between 4 to 14 days. However it might last for as long  as 45 days reports say.
The WHO organization defines a pandemic as "an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people."

According to the report, most people fully recover from nipah virus, although some are left with residual neurological conditions after acute encephalitis.


Wikipedia data says that most likely origin of this virus was in 1947 and it contains two clades; one with its origin in 1995 and the second one’s origin is back to 1985, while the first ever cases of Nipah virus infection were identified in 1998 in Malaysia.

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