Know Important Facts about Nipah Virus: Its Risks, Symptoms and History

Signs and Symptoms of Nipah Virus
13.Sep.2021

Nipah Virus (A High Pathogenic Paramyxovirus):

With the cases of deadly Coronavirus and its new variants prevailing in India, a new fear of the Nipah virus outbreak has surfaced in Kerala, with one confirmed death case in Kozhikode.

Nipah Virus is similar to Corona Virus and the scientific name of the Nipah virus is Nipah Henipavirus, it is a bat-borne virus and belongs to the genus Henipavirus along with Hendra Virus.

Nipah virus is a potential threat, and according to WHO (World Health Organization), the Nipah virus is a Zoonotic virus transmitted from

  • Animals to human
  • Through contaminated food and water
  • The virus spreads if a person eats the leftover fruit of bats.

What is the Zoonotic virus?

The zoonotic virus is an infectious virus spread to humans through animals or contaminated food and water. Its pathogens are probably viral, bacterial, or parasitic and might involve unconventional agents that spread to humans through direct contact, water, food, or the environment.

How do you Identify Nipah Virus?

Here are a few signs and symptoms of the Nipah Virus:

The symptoms of the Nipah virus and Coronavirus are alike.

Here are a few common symptoms:

These symptoms appear typically in 4 – 14 days from the exposure of virus. In the initial stages patients suffer from fever and headache, cough, sore throat, drowsiness, dizziness, muscle pain, tiredness, and encephalitis (swelling of the brain causing headache, stiff neck, the sensitivity of the light, mental confusion, and seizures), coma, and many more differ from person to person.

In a few cases, a person may lose his conscious and the situation may lead to death ultimately.

What are the protocols to be taken to control/limit the Virus?

With the outbreak of a contagious virus, it is understood that the spread cannot be restricted within a geographical context as it spreads all over in no time. They are a few protocols established now at the national level.

The three key aspects are:

Infection Control, Treatment, and Vaccination.

The vaccination for the Nipah virus is evasive. However, a few studies suggest that the Coronavirus vaccines creditably improved and probably improved their efficacy against the Nipah virus too.

Another potential candidate vaccine is under human trials.

Did this outbreak exist in previous years?

The first break was reported in Singapore and Malaysia in 1998-99. Nipah is named after a village in Malaysia where the first person affected by the virus was isolated and died due to the disease.

Initially, the virus was found in pigs in the first outbreak.

More than 100 people died and 300 people were affected by the virus.

Approximately, a million pigs were slaughtered which was the source of spreading infection.

In India, the first outbreak was hit in Siliguri in West Bengal in Jan-Feb 2001.

The mortality rate was 3 out of every 4 people were infected and a total of 66 cases were reported.

In India, it was widely identified in May-June 2018, when Kozhikode reported 18 cases out of which 17 cases resulted in death.

What measures were taken to handle the situation:

People infected with the virus were isolated far from the residential places, given concerned medications, counselling, people from medical department were constantly in touch with the affected people to know their health status, many ambulances were deployed in the affected areas for immediate help.

How is the health of people who cope up with this situation?

People who coped up with the situations have reported they had long-term side effects like persistent convulsions like irregular movements of the body, brain disorders like epilepsy, contraction of muscles, presence of certain toxic and other dangerous agents in the blood, fever in the children, and changes in the personality.

Conclusion:

The death of a 12-year-old boy in Kerala has proved that Nipah is a potential threat, if it is not restricted it might spread all over and become an epidemic. It is time for all of us and also our government to get alarmed and build up a healthy infrastructure across the nation.

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