According to News reports, nine people have been dead in suspected and confirmed cases of Nipah Virus in south India. Out of nine, three were tested positive for this rare virus. Twenty-five people with symptoms of infection are hospitalised in northern Kerala’s Kozhikode.
HISTORY of Nipah Virus
- According to WHO, Nipah virus (NiV) was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998. That time intermediate host were pigs.
- Humans become infected by the virus first time in 2004 in Bangladesh and India. It was transmitted by consumption of date palm sap infected by fruit bats. This emerging infectious disease is not new to India. It first attacked the West Bengal area of India.
How is Nipah Virus transmitted?
Hendra virus and Nipah virus are the zoonotic diseases where animal diseases can be transmitted to people. The natural reservoir of Hendra and Nipah virus are fruit bats from genus Pteropus. The virus is transmitted through bat’s urine, faeces, birthing fluid and saliva.
Symptoms of Nipah virus
This virus is associated with Encephalitis. The incubation period (a period between exposure to the virus and the first symptom appeared) is 5 to 14 days.
- Illness starts with 3 to 14 days of fever and headache.
- Then drowsiness, disorientation and mental confusion are followed by a headache.
- Symptoms can progress to coma condition within 24 to 48 hours.
Some patients can also have respiratory symptoms during the starting period of infection. Long-term consequences can lead to persistent convulsions and personality disorders. Deaths have been reported in latent and reactivation cases.
Prevention and Treatment of Nipah Virus
There is no vaccine for this virus for both human and animals. The only way to rescue is prevention and alertness. The Nipah virus has a tendency to mutate and adapt like the H1N1 virus.
People residing in and around the high alert area should inform nearby health department if any cases is suspected of Nipah virus. People who have recently travelled to an infected area should take care of any appearance of symptoms related to infection. Awareness about any recent health-related topic is necessary for you and your dear ones. For any further query about Nipah virus and associated topic consult Homeo Solutions.