What is the NIPAH virus?

According to the WHO, the NIPAH is zoonotic in nature. Such infections have the ability to transmit themselves to a human being even if an animal is infected. They have the ability to infect a person when they come in contact with edibles that have been infected or contaminated. It causes a range of diseases ranging from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory diseases and fatal encephalitis to infected people.

It can also cause serious illness in animals such as pigs, causing economic losses for farmers. World Health Organization has identified NiV as a high priority pathogen because the NIV host reservoir is substantial in terms of geographical area. And it has the potential for zoonotic and human transmission and limitations in its prevention and treatment?

What are its symptoms?

Nipah’s symptoms resemble those of the flu, which are:

  • Cold
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness, Dizziness, altered consciousness
  • Body ache and later breathlessness.

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The host of Nipah Virus

The fruit bat is confirmed to be the natural host of Nipah Virus. It belongs to the Pteropodidae family. They were found to have antibodies, which fight against Nipah viruses, this indicates that these viruses could be present in the geographical distribution of Pteropodidae bats in Africa.

The Nipah Virus Outbreak

According to WHO, Nipah virus was discovered for the first time in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in Kampung Sungai, Malaysia. There have been several small outbreaks in other countries since the year 2001. Such as an epidemic in Kerala, India on May 2018, which killed 11 people and 22 has to wait for the test result and another 14 people were said to contract the virus during the outbreak. Also, an explosion was reported in Bangladesh in 200, and it occurs annually in the country since then.

What is the prevention procedure?

There is currently no vaccine against the Nipah virus. But based on the experience gained from previous outbreaks, it was concluded that routine and thorough cleaning coupled with disinfection of pig farms with appropriate disinfectant could be useful in the prevention of the virus.

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