Nipah Virus is a newly emerging virus that leads to a severe disease in both humans as well as animals. Though the virus was first identified in Malaysia and Singapore twenty years back, at that time, it was just caused in pigs and through them, it later got transferred to humans. Nipah Virus infected as many as around two hundred people then, out of which forty percent were taken under intensive care because the infection was spread severely. “The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus,” quoted WHO. An unheard virus, NiV is still not completely understood.
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The virus can be transferred through infected bats, pigs or humans who have been infected. In 2004, humans who consumed the date palm sap infected by fruit bats caught the virus as well. Humans who were infected by other humans were reported in Bangladesh and India, recently in the state of Kerala. Many people have died in Kerala because of the Nipah Virus and the government is still taking measures regarding it.
Since the Virus is still not completely understood, here are some lesser-known facts about it:
- Nipah virus causes a rare brain fever that spreads from fruit bats to livestock as well as humans.
- High fever, terrible headache, and breathing trouble are some of the known symptoms of Nipah virus, which has a high fatality rate.
- It could potentially be a huge health scare this year 2018 as per WHO list of viruses. There is no vaccination available for Nipah virus as of now.
- The virus was first identified among pigs in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998
- Last known outbreak in the subcontinent was in 2004 in Bangladesh, and now the Kerala outbreak in 2018.
The incubation period for the virus ranges from 5 to 14 days and symptoms become visible after this period. If you wish to know about Zikah virus, follow Goodknight. The symptoms of Nipah Virus are: –
Fever from 3-14 days of exposure associated with the severe headache due to encephalitis(swelling of the brain) which lead to a state of confusion, disorientation, nausea, persistent drowsiness and fainting.
– Choking, stomach pain, vomiting, fatigue and blurred vision could also be there.
– There are many patients who show neurological, respiratory and pulmonary signs as well
– These symptoms can lead to come in 24-48hours. If any of the above symptoms are present you should visit the nearest hospital and get evaluated.
Since there is no vaccination or cure available for the virus, intensive care is required. Still some measures that can be taken for zikah virus prevention are:
– Do not eat fruits that may have been bitten by bats.
– Do not drink toddy that is brewed in open containers near palm trees.
– Refrain from consuming date palm sap.
– Do not drink unpasteurized fruit juices
– Wash, peel and/or cook all fruit thoroughly before eating
– Safeguard oneself after coming in contact with someone who has contracted the virus. It is important to maintain a distance from the patient, to sanitize and wash hands thoroughly.