Deadly virus causes outbreak in India; Brazil’s vulnerability leaves scientists on alert

The recent outbreak of the virus Nipah in India has generated global concerns about its potential spread and impact in other regions of the world, including Brazil.

This microorganism, which causes a potentially lethal viral disease, has been the subject of careful study and monitoring by public health authorities around the world.

The Kozhikode region of Kerala, India, is facing an outbreak of Nipah virus, with two deaths already recorded and three people, including a child and two adults, hospitalized after testing positive. Local authorities carried out around 800 tests on residents in the area.

Now, with a warning about the spread of the virus, the concern is that the disease will reach Brazilian territory.

Image: Raj Mohan/Pixabay/Reproduction

O virus Nipah is a viral pathogen that belongs to the family Paramyxoviridae and the genus Henipavirus. It was first identified in Malaysia in 1999, when it caused an outbreak of encephalitis in pig farmers and people who had contact with sick pigs.

The name “Nipah” is derived from the name of a village in Malaysia where the virus was first isolated. The virus is transmitted mainly by fruit bats of the family Pteropodidaealso known as fruit bats.

How is Nipah transmitted to humans?

Bats are considered natural hosts of the virus and can excrete it in their feces, saliva and urine. Thus, transmission to humans usually occurs through direct contact with bodily fluids from infected animals, such as pigs, or with contaminated objects.

What are the symptoms of the infection?

Infection with the virus in humans can cause a variety of symptoms, which can range from fever and headache to more serious symptoms such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and pneumonia.

The mortality rate associated with Nipah can be high, ranging from 40% to 75%, depending on the outbreak and available treatment conditions.

After all, what is the probability of the virus reaching Brazil?

Alejandro Naime Barbosa, professor at the Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp) and vice-president of the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases (SBI), made a comparison between the transmission method of the Nipah virus and that of Ebola, emphasizing that both depend on close contact to get along. spread.

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However, despite the severity, experts interviewed by Estadão highlighted that the probability of the Nipah virus spreading in Brazil is quite low. Still, several countries are closely monitoring the situation due to the high rate of Lethality of the virus.