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Nipah: The looming post-covid pandemic



Olivia Sekimoto1 & Francesco Chiappelli 2,3



1Cajulis Pediatric Dentistry, Chula Vista, CA 91914, USA; 2Dental Group of Sherman Oaks, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403, USA; 3UCLA Center for the Health Sciences, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA;



Olivia Sekimoto - E-mail: oliviasekimoto9@gmail.com

Francesco Chiappelli - E-mail: Chiappelli.research@gmail.com


Article Type




Received January 1, 2024; Revised January 31, 2024; Accepted January 31, 2024, Published January 31, 2024



First identified as a pathogen in Malaysia and Singapore in 1999, Nipah virus (NiV) caused nearly 300 human cases and over 100 fatalities. It also killed about 1 million pigs. Three years later (2002), it was reported in Pteropus bats in Malaysia, in Cambodia & Thailand, (2005), and as far as Madagascar (2007) and Ghana (2008). India (Kerala) reported its first human NiV-caused fatalities in September 2023. Taken together, these trends emphasize its public health threat. In humans, NiV infection initially leads to fever, headache, body aches and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting. The symptoms rapidly evolve into sore throat, cough and atypical pneumonia leading to severe respiratory distress. The cadre of NiV-induced pathology (Nipah disease, NiD) then includes severe dizziness and drowsiness, progressive alteration in cognition and consciousness, acute encephalitis and seizures. Public health protocols (e.g., mask-wearing, quarantine), essential to contain and control CoViD-19, seem insufficient to contain NiD spread because NiV transmission occurs primarily via direct contacts with body fluids of infected carriers, but presumably not by airborne transmission. As in the case of SARS-C0V2, health care providers (i.e., physicians, dentists, nurses, dental assistants) are greatest risks not only of contracting but of spreading NiV infection. NiV is a high-pathogenicity pathogen, against which, at present, we have no anti-viral medications or preventive vaccine. Taken together, the evidence to date heightens the threat of an upcoming NiD pandemic.



Nipah Virus, NiV; Nipah viral disease; NiD; SARS-Cov2; CoViD-19; public health; dentists; central nervous system, CNS



Sekimoto & Chiappelli, Bioinformation 20(1): 1-3 (2024)


Edited by

P Kangueane






Biomedical Informatics



This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. This is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.