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Doctor who first identified Nipah shares his experience

Dr. Kaw Bing Chua a Malaysian researcher is the first one to identify Nipah virus in the world. It was in 1999 that the virus outbreak first happened in Malasia. It was mistaken as Japan fever and the medicines for the same were given to the farmers. But the fever intensified later.

The Microbiology head ignored Chau’s suspicions and continued to treat it as Japan fever. US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention test rejected the disease sample as Japan fever and his suspicions got strengthened. It was on March 7 the milestone detection occurred.

Chua remembers the day well. The virus appeared like a greenish shining bag. For further teat the Malaysian government arranged Chua’s Visa to the USA within 24 hours. He says that the helpless images of the poor pig farmers were only in his mind during the departure. What happened later is history.

Chua is senior principle investigator Temasek Life Science in Singapore.


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