Suara.com – A virus that is now spreading throughout Australia is predicted by experts to be the next global threat. As is known, Australia recently detected a case of Japanese encephalitis infection of the brain virus – has killed two people, with 15 others infected.
The virus is found in pigs and birds, and is transmitted to mosquitoes when they bite infected animals. This virus cannot spread from person to person, so the threat is not as big as the Covid type virus.
It is most common in rural areas of Southeast Asia, the Pacific islands and the Far East.
Australia’s cases are thought to have arisen on pig farms, after four states reported infections last month. Two people, a man in his 70s and another in his 60s, have died from the virus since February 28.
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Health scientist and CEO of the Encephalitis Society Dr Ava Easton has shared concerns large numbers of people will die or face the “life-changing” effects of the virus.
“For those who develop encephalitis from mosquito bites, nearly a third of those who contract encephalitis in that way will die sadly, and a third to 50 percent will experience serious changes to life consequences.”
He told 7NEWS that the recent flooding in eastern Australia has created the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Dr Easton explained: “The flooding in Australia has resulted in more water, more birds migrating and that means more capacity for mosquitoes to eat what we call these viral hosts like pigs and waterbirds.”
Most people infected with the Japanese encephalitis virus, a form of flavivirus, will experience only mild or no symptoms that are often mistaken for the flu.
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But some will develop encephalitis, which can be fatal or cause long-term nerve damage.