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Tuesday, 29 May 2018 - 17:09
Nipah virus could spread globally - WHO
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The outbreak of the Nipah virus in Kerala is yet another reminder of how fast new viruses can travel from one country to another in a globalized world.
 
Nipah is a relatively new virus which was discovered in 1999 in Sungai Nipah village in the Malaysian peninsula.
 
Within a short time, it made its way to Bangladesh which saw nine outbreaks in the year 2001 alone.
 
The same year, Nipah struck in Siliguri, which is strategically located near international borders with Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan and sees the movement of migratory labour from all sides.
 
Its tropical climate is ideal for viruses to thrive.
 
The virus strains isolated from Siliguri was closely linked to that from Bangladesh and not to that isolated in Malaysia.
 
After Siliguri, Nipah killed five people in Nadia, also in West Bengal, in 2007. Now, Nipah has surfaced in Kozhikode and Mallapuram.
 
However, it still not quite clear whether the outbreak is a result of circulating virus within India or is of imported origin.
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