Surabaya, IDN Times – Airlangga University Microbiology Expert, Dr. Agung Dwi Wahyu Widodo dr., M.Si, M.Ked.Klin, SpMK warned of the potential for the next pandemic originating from the nipah virus. Moreover, this virus has a high mortality rate and there is no vaccine.
1. Originally found in pigs
Lecturer at the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Airlangga University, Dr. Agung Dwi Wahyu Widodo dr., M.Si, M.Ked.Klin, SpMK explained that the nipah virus is a virus that is contagious to animals, namely pigs. However, in 1999 in Malaysia, this virus had become an epidemic among breeders who had direct contact with sick pigs.
“This virus has the potential to become a second pandemic. Because the nature of the virus and the mode of transmission are similar to SARS-CoV-2,” said Agung, Friday (5/2/2021).
2. Finally spread between humans
Based on research by the Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease-Health Science Center, this virus was found from fruit bats and can be transmitted to humans. This virus will become dangerous if it eventually mutates and can spread faster from human to human like the corona virus.
“Pandemics can occur because even though they are caused by fruit bats, person-to-person transmission has occurred. The incubation period is also similar to SARS-CoV-2, which is around 5 to 14 days, ”he said.
3. High mortality rate
Agung added that this virus must be sufficiently alerted. The reason is, until now the death rate is quite high, reaching 75 percent. This high mortality rate is caused by several things, including incomplete handling, unusual symptoms, and events that occur very quickly. Until now, there has not been found a vaccine or cure for this virus.
“There is no specific treatment for this virus. The treatment is only supportive management so that patients can survive,” he said.
4. Potential to be the next pandemic
Agung mentioned that this nipah virus has other similarities with the corona virus, namely the symptoms experienced by the sufferer. The initial symptoms caused by nipah virus infection resemble influenza, namely chills, fever, and sore muscles. Even though it looks light, this nipah virus should not be underestimated.
“A vaccine for this virus has not yet been found. So, prevention can be too late,” he concluded.