MERS, Lassa Fever and Nipah Virus threaten mankind

Q.  Which of these diseases are the next potential emergency threat?
- Published on 20 Jan 17

a. Lassa fever
b. Nipah virus
d. All of the above
e. None of the above

ANSWER: All of the above
MERS, Lassa Fever and Nipah Virus threaten mankindScientists have named three relatively little-known diseases, MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), Lassa fever and Nipah virus the next potential global health emergency threat.

In this regard, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has committed 460 million dollars to speed up vaccine development for the diseases.

CEPI aims to have 2 new experimental vaccines ready for each disease within 5 years in order to be prepared incase of their global outbreaks.

CEPI is a public-private coalition that aims to derail outbreaks of epidemics by speeding development of vaccines.

It is funded by the Wellcome Trust, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Economic Forum (WEF).

Other funders are Government of Norway and Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of S&T, Government of India.

What is MERS?
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease.
  • It is caused by a novel coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
  • It was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
  • Typical MERS symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
  • Pneumonia is common, but not always present.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhoea, have also been reported.
  • Approximately 36% of reported patients with MERS have died (WHO, 2017).

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