NIPAH VIRUS:THE MONSTER COMES FROM ILLEGAL EXOTIC MEATS

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THE NEW EMERGING DISEASE IS ZOONOTIC AND WITH PANDEMICS POTENTIAL

WHY THE SCIENTISTS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT NIPAH WE HAVEN’T HEARD ABOUT?

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There is one old good quote about the blessing of the ignorance. When we do not know something, we cant be worried or upset, we continue to live our calm lives until the moment our safe world is replaced with one full of forces we haven’t even  known  they exist. Then, we are awaken and the new horror is beginning in our unprepared minds. Sometimes, unfortunately, the fear is making the wolf the bigger than he really is.The fear from the unknown.

 The science is always digging the dark caves of our knowledge and tries to offer the best answers to all of us, to make us ready for everything we will ever need. However, the science is often not so powerful and lot of natural mysteries are still unsolved like the puzzle we will never catch. The hidden microbiological world is definitely one of the greatest challenge of the high tech mankind.  No matter how hard we are working on controlling the little, invisible enemies, they find a way to prove us wrong and to make us losing our confidence. The micro bugs are enough cruel and stubborn to never give up on provoking us, on screaming at us that we will never be safe in our own skins, homes, countries and universe.

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This age is not only politically damaged but it is also full of risks in  regarding our bio safety. The global health is nothing but the global image of the unconsolidated international tensions and interests and typical sign that we aren’t able to act together and united to defeat the stealthy warriors. Because, it is always about the interest groups and their visions how people should die and when. On the other side, non-educated bloody thirsty crowd is not skilled to recognize the problem and deal with it but to fall in the trap of mediocrity. Politicians and businessmen from pharmacological sector are the  kings of the new health concerns, pathogens are simply the cheapest tool for executing the ideals of Malhtusian Theory.

In last 20 years, it seems to be some kind of rain forest epidemic wave. After AIDS came out, the list of the new exotic names ,which threaten to us,  is never ending. The bugs get thrilling place in medical books and we get the new reason to be worried about. Ebola, Marburg, Lasa, Hanta, Zika….some of them are known, some have never been known, some will never be known. The circle of life and death under the microscope. One of those is still shy but not innocent. Nipah virus doesnt want to be famous but has all attributes to become black celebrity of our time.

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Nipah virus (NiV) should be understood as a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe viral illness  in both animals and humans.It belongs to the family of  Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus and it was identified back in 1999, during one outbreak of encephalitis among pig farmers and people in Malaysia and Singapore. This is exactly the way it got its name, from the small village of  Kampung Sungai Nipah, located in the Malaysian Peninsula where were the first patients and infected:”In the 1999 outbreak, Nipah virus caused a relatively mild disease in pigs, but nearly 300 human cases with over 100 deaths were reported. In order to stop the outbreak, more than a million pigs were euthanized, causing tremendous trade loss for Malaysia. Since this outbreak, no subsequent cases (in neither swine nor human) have been reported in either Malaysia or Singapore.”  The first host  are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus but in the case of infection, the pigs were intermediate  hosts. Later in 2004,  the same virus has occurred in Bangladesh which has known as the place where people consume date palm sap and after that was contaminated by fruit bats, they got the virus  through the natural chain of transmission. The human-to-human line was also noticed, especially in India.

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What we should know about the Nipah virus? There are lot of symptoms and the main are similar to influenza:fever, headaches, myalgia, vomiting, and sore throat. If we are talking about severe level of encephalitis, then we must count on drowsiness, dizziness, and altered consciousness. Sometimes, the pneumonia may also follows:” Within 24 to 48 hours, patients progress to a coma and then death. Around 20 percent of patients who survive acute encephalitis suffer from residual neurological damage. The case fatality rate of infection with NiV ranges from an average of 40 to 75 percent, however this can vary significantly per outbreak.”

The most disturbing fact about this virus is the lack of the cure and relying on supportive care and prevention measures. There is no available vaccine for either  humans or animals. It is all about the prevention because the sanitation is almost impossible.

When we look at Bangladesh case, we must not forget what was caused this emerging disease to be born there at first place. The forced deforestation which has  hit  Malaysia too. It is stated that approximately 5 million hectares of tropical rain forests have been destroyed for the planned pig farms. The region which has been rich in different animal and plant species became ruined by industrial aggressive colonization and people’s greed to humiliate nature.  Whats happening the next? The natural hosts of many dangerous viruses are coming to human habitats because there are no anymore  borders. The species are close to each others and viruses can only jump from one to another, bringing deaths.

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Behind the mentioned indicators of Nipah virus birth, there are also the significant warnings how the virus can be empowered and brought into the level of global epidemics concern or lets say pandemics concern. The problem of bush meat or illegal wild meat. Everything what is forbidden is always interesting and attractive and doesn’t surprise the high number of black meat markets in Europe and in the US, where anyone can find anything. Even the wild exotic meat infected by dangerous virus. Those who offer this do not think of quarantine standards but only about the profit. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) wrote a report how everything goes when it comes to the infection based on this ground:“1) the bush meat has to be contaminated with [Ebola]; 2) the bush meat has to be (illegally) introduced into the EU; 3) the imported bush meat needs to contain viable virus when it reaches the person; 4) the person has to be exposed to the virus; and 5) the person needs to get infected following exposure.” In other words, there are so many conditions which have to be fulled up so we can talk about wild meat infection chain. The consumption of wild meat is not dangerous as itself but it is not absolutely safe because we never know about the sanitary habits of the first deliver. Europe has the outbreak of trichinellosis in 2012 but researchers discovered that uncooked sausages from the wild boar meat were directly responsible for infection more than 30 people. Not all African bush meat is contaminated but there is a high risk of eating one which is infected by some deadly pathogen. First of all, our body structure doesn’t allow us to eat food out of our area  which is not processed the way we will digest it. If we add the policy of sanitary control which is typical in Europe and America, it is for understanding  the growing problem of African diseases being spread away through the inappropriate  processed meat.

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We made a big progress as a civilization but as humans we are still back warded. Just to think about the illegal wild meat markets and those who would sell the potential infected product rather than to pay the quarantine measures is deeply devastating. Those who would buy such kind of products are those who are causing problems in our societies. The crowd without the brain which brings risks to individuals who despise ignorance. At the end of the day, we are all cooked in the same pot. Disease always serves the last meal.

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