This virus Niv causes disease in both humans and animals where the natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropododae family. However, the bats remain unaffected by the virus. The name Nipah originated from a small village named Sungai Nipah in Malaysia where farmers were affected. The initial outbreak of the disease took place in 1998, in Malaysia where pigs were the intermediate hosts. Later in 2004 humans were affected with Niv after consuming date palm sap in Bangladesh. Presently Kerala is on the radar of the virus. More than 10 people died due to the virus in Kerala.
The virus will spread through contact with saliva and other secretions, also by eating partially eaten fruits infected by the bats. It takes around 5 to 14 days for the development of the symptoms. Direct contact with infected pigs is one of the modes of transmission in humans that led to an outbreak in Malaysia. Unfortunately, the death rate of the virus infection is about 75 percent. Diagnosis of the virus infection is done through lab tests like real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) which helps in isolating the virus from blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid etc. Currently, a cure for the virus infection is yet to be developed. Painkillers and other drugs to increase immunity are being used by the victims. Medical researchers and experts are working hard on finding a cure for this deadly virus.
Signs and Symptoms
- Sore throat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach ache
- Blurred vision
- Neck rigidity
- Muscle pain
- Panic attacks
- Respiratory infection
- Breathing issues
- Altered consciousness
- Coma in severe conditions
- Brain stem disinfection
- Fatigue in extreme cases
If any of the above symptoms are observed consulting a doctor is very essential. The symptoms last for 7 to 10 days. Once this deadly virus affects the brain, it is extremely difficult to kill the virus.
- Avoid consuming date palm sap as it has high chances of being infected by the bats.
- Avoid consuming partially eaten fruits.
- Do not climb trees where saliva and secretions of bats might come in contact
- Do not come in contact with any kind of secretions of infected patients, especially respiratory secretions
- Do not share food, bed with the infected patient also make sure you are not near them when they cough or sneeze
- Saliva of the infected person is highly dangerous, hence avoid coming into contact
- Washroom used by infected patients should be avoided as urine also contains the virus.
- Do not drink toddy which is brewed under palm trees.
- Sanitize yourself after coming in contact with the infected patients
- Wear gloves and masks if necessary to go near infected patients
- Nurses and doctors have to take intense care while treating the patients as they can easily transmit the virus.
These precautions are to be followed without hesitating as the virus can spread very easily.