“It all depends on how well this outbreak is controlled” – Health

Not as infectious as Corona, but deadlier: Virologist Beatriz Escudero Pérez explains why the Nipah virus is so dangerous.

After the death of two people from the Nipah virus, schools and offices in the southern Indian state of Kerala have been closed. Online classes were ordered for a week. According to authorities, four further infections with the pathogen were confirmed on Friday. Five contacts of infected people showed symptoms. Among other things, there was a major Nipah outbreak in the district in 2018, in which 21 people died. In previous outbreaks, between 40 and 70 percent of those infected died. However, depending on the virus strain, a Nipah infection can rarely be symptomless. Infected people often initially notice flu-like symptoms, which in the worst cases develop into fatal encephalitis. The virologist Beatriz Escudero-Pérez works with various dangerous pathogens – including Nipah – in the high-security laboratory at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg. In an interview with the SZ, she urged caution, saying the virus has the potential to start a pandemic.

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