India fighting to contain Nipah, a virus deadlier than COVID-19

DM

A 12-year-old boy has died in India of Nipah, a rare virus that is far deadlier than COVID-19 — and one that health officials have long feared could start a global pandemic. The unidentified boy died Sunday at a hospital in Kerala, the southern state already battling the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the hard-hit country, officials there said. He had already visited two other hospitals before his death, putting him in contact with potentially hundreds of people — with up to 11 showing potential symptoms, NDTV reported. Previous outbreaks of Nipah, or NiV, showed an estimated fatality rate of between 40% and 75%, according to the World Health Organization, making it far more deadly than the coronavirus. “The virus has been shown to spread from person-to-person in these outbreaks, raising concerns about the potential for NiV to cause a global pandemic,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said. More than 100 possible contacts of the boy have already been forced to isolate, with 48 of them being monitored in a hospital in Kerala. Officials will also be carrying out door-to-door surveillance and identifying secondary contacts.

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