The first cases of Nipah virus infection were identified in 1998, when an outbreak led to 105 deaths.
Areport by the Access to Medicine Foundation (ATMF) has revealed an outbreak of a more fatalistic virus than the coronavirus could be imminent even as pharmaceutical companies tend to neglect its threat while currently focusing COVID-19.
Jayasree K Iyer, executive director of the Netherlands-based Foundation points out that the Nipah virus, with a fatality rate of up to 75 percent, could be the next pandemic.
“Nipah virus is another emerging infectious disease that causes great concern. Nipah could blow any moment. The next pandemic could be a drug-resistant infection,” She said to NoRM‘s known Media.
While there is no current outbreak of the virus, in 2018, an outbreak in southern India killed 17 people.
The virus, though rare, is spread by fruit bats and can cause flu-like symptoms and brain damage.
The report by ATMF monitors 20 major drug companies and places the Nipah Virus as one one of 10 infectious diseases classified by the WHO as the greatest public health risks.
In January, Moderna announced that it is creating new vaccines in new development programs.
The development programs announced were vaccines to fight against the seasonal flu, HIV and the Nipah virus.
This development program is dependent on the company’s clinical successes against its infectious disease vaccines.