Today in history
On 18 March 1999, the Nipah virus was isolated, by Dr Chua Kaw Ping, of the University Malaya. This caused a previously unrecorded viral disease, and was implicated by laboratory testing in many of cases of febrile encephalitic and respiratory illnesses among workers who had exposure to pigs in Malaysia and Singapore.
The virus, which is transmissible from pigs to humans, had caused approximately 100 human deaths in the preceding six months. In 10 Apr 1999, it was officially called the Nipah virus, after one of the villages affected by the outbreak - Sungai Nipah in the Malaysian state of Negeri Sembilan. The virus was discovered More than 900,000 pigs in the affected areas were destroyed to contain the outbreak.