Nipah Virus : Symptoms, Transmission, Treatment & Prevention

Nipah Virus : Symptoms, Transmission, Treatment & Prevention

Q : What is Nipah Virus ?
A : Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus.
NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998.

Q : Should I be worried ?
A : Yes a little and should be at caution. NiV infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis. There is no vaccine for either humans or animals. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care.

Q : Who is at high risk ? How is it transmitted ?
A : Consuming Fruits which are already bitten by bat.
 Contact with people who already have Nipah virus infection People working with pigs and consuming pigs.
 Farmers who come in contact with bats.

Q : What are the early symptoms ?
A : Nipah Virus is usually associated with inflammation of the brain due to which severe days of fever can often lead to a state of confusion, disorientation and even persistent drowsiness. If not taken care of, these symptoms can even cause a coma in a span of 24-48 hours. There are many patients who show neurological, respiratory and pulmonary signs as well. Therefore, do not ignore any such signs.
The disease rapidly progresses, with deterioration in consciousness leading to coma within five to seven days.

Q :How is it diagnosed ?
A : The diagnosis is by ELISA which is currently done at National institute of Virology, Pune.

Q : How is it treated ?
A : Patients may require intensive care monitoring and supportive care. Prevention is the only cure now for Nipah.

Q : How do i prevent it ?
A : 1. Avoid contact with pigs and pig handlers .
 2. Maintain personal hygiene and intensive hand washing practices
3. Avoid consuming raw fruits, Consume only well cooked, clean, home made food till the outbreak
settles down.
 4. Preferably use N95 mask while travelling or working in public places to avoid person to person transmission.
 5. Be aware of the symptoms and report to the doctor immediately for early diagnosis and reatment.

Source: WHO, Times of India

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