How the hunt for the deadly Nipah Virus shaped the search for coronavirus’s origins

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Assessment: This week, the World Health Organization unveiled an advisory group that will study the origins of the coronavirus and guide research to prepare the world against Disease ‘X’ …

The virus had lurked for years, lacking only one thing it needed to inflict widespread human death: a perfect opportunity.

In late 1998, it got it. The virus arrived in central Malaysia by air, inside furry bats that alighted on the boughs of fruit trees swaying over pig farms. The bats, messy eaters, dropped their half-consumed meals. The swine, undiscerning eaters, gobbled up the leftovers. The virus, ready to move, hopped into the pigs and passed through their coughs to the humans who worked with them.

And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.  And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him …” Rev. 6:7-8

In late 1998, it got it. The virus arrived in central Malaysia by air, inside furry bats that alighted on the boughs of fruit trees swaying over pig farms. The bats, messy eaters, dropped their half-consumed meals. The swine, undiscerning eaters, gobbled up the leftovers. The virus, ready to move, hopped into the pigs and passed through their coughs to the humans who worked with them.

But two decades later, as the world grapples with a pandemic caused by a type of virus that circulates in bats, the world’s first Nipah outbreak is still viewed as a case study in zoonotic disease spillover from animals to humans, the hunts for their sources and the importance of bats as incubators for a variety of pathogens.

Amid controversy and investigations about the origin of the coronavirus, it is the story of Nipah Read More @ WAPO HERE

 (see our post “New Virus Poses Existential Threat to life as We Know it” HERE)

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