Infectious disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante on Saturday said Nipah virus will not have the same intensity or spread rapidly as COVID-19.
“I don't think we will experience the same intensity o rapid spread of infection nang gaya sa COVID. Ang COVID ay respiratory tract infection. Itong Nipah, it is usually body fluids. 'Yung transmissibility niya ay hindi rapid at high kumpara sa COVID," said Solante in a report on Super Radyo dzBB.
(I don't think we will experience the same intensity or rapid spread of infection as with COVID. COVID-19 is respiratory tract infection, while Nipah is through body fluids. The transmissibility is not rapid and high compared to COVID-19.)
"Although it's remote naman talaga na that the infection will travel that fast kasi it's so fatal that before somebody from India may be incubating mabilis 'yung fatality niya maatas," he added.
(Although it's really remote that the infection will travel that fast because it's so fatal that before somebody from India may be incubating, its fatality is high.)
The Nipah virus has killed two people in the southern Indian state of Kerala on September 14.
A state health official in India said that two adults and a child were still infected in the hospital, and more than 700 people were being tested for the virus, spread via contact with the bodily fluids of infected bats, pigs, or people.
Solante noted that there are no approved human vaccines or treatments for Nipah, as it's just a matter of symptomatic supportive treatment.
“Ang endpoint ng Nipah virus ay brain kaya mataas ang mortality rate nito,” he said.
(The endpoint of the Nipah virus is the brain, so its mortality rate is high.)
He then urged the public to monitor as there are possibilities that the virus may enter the country due to travel, among other factors.
"More or less monitoring those who have travel history in India, especially in that region of India, Kerala, based ang monitoring natin dahil medyo vague ang mga sintomas but alam natin na Nipah virus is really a deadly and fatal infection," he said.
(More or less monitoring those who have a travel history in India, especially in that region of India, Kerala, our monitoring is based because the symptoms are a bit vague, but we know that Nipah virus is really a deadly and fatal infection.)
The Nipah virus was first identified in 1999 during an illness outbreak among pig farmers and others in close contact with the animals in Malaysia and Singapore.
Outbreaks are sporadic, and previous infections in South Asia have occurred when people drank date palm sap contaminated with bat excreta.
"The route of transmission comes from a bat, and then 'yung body fluids ng bats at dumi niya will be transmitted to the pig and then the pigs are usually the secondary host. For those who handle those pigs, mangyayari ang transmission, animal to human transmission," Solante noted.
(The route of transmission comes from a bat, and the body fluids of bats and their wastes will be transmitted to the pig, and then the pigs are usually the secondary host. For those who handle those pigs, the transmission will happen, animal to human transmission.) —VAL, GMA Integrated News