What is Nipah Virus (NiV), Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment

What is Nipah Virus Infection (NiV)?

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), Nipah Virus is an emergent paramyxovirus which causes disease in both animals and humans. This virus was first recognised in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998.

It was first and foremost caused in fruit bats and pigs and through them got conveyed to humans. It is thought that eating fruits or fruit products (such as raw date palm juice) polluted with urine or saliva from an infected fruit bat can cause the NiV infection in humans. Nipah Virus decayed as many as 265 people then, out of which 50 per cent were taken under crucial care due to the infection having stretched out pressingly.

The Nipah virus (NiV) can be carried through infected bats, pigs or humans who have been infected. In 2004, humans who had taken the date palm sap contaminated by fruit bats, caught the virus. Humans who were infected by other humans were reported in Bangladesh and India.

Nipah Virus Signs and Symptoms:

Health officials say that Nipah Virus is an airborne transmission disease (transmitted through the air when people sneeze, cough, laugh, or exhale) and can spread those who come in direct contact with contaminated bodies.

NiV is is commonly connected with inflammation of the brain tissue due to which severe days of viral fever can usually lead to a state of mental confusion, disorientation, drowsiness and even unconsciousness. If proper care is not taken, these symptoms can even cause a coma in a period of 24-48 hours. Nipah infected patients would show neurological, respiratory and pulmonary signs as well. For this reason, do not neglect if you notice any of the above signs or symptoms.

Some Common NiV signs and symptoms are fever with headache, nausea, dizziness, tiredness and mental illness such as uncertainty. These signs can last up to 7-10 days. Watching out for respiratory infections during the initial stages is also a must.

The symptoms usually may take four to 14 days to appear after someone becomes infected with NiV. The early signs of illness are unclear and can actually be confused with that of viral fever and general cold. And you would not believe, more than 60 per cent of this virus in humans comes from animals.

Prevention and Treatment for Nipah Virus:

At present, there is no cure and no appropriate vaccine available to treat Nipah Virus. The only best way and primary treatment for this virus in humans is intensive supportive care.

Avoid drinking date palm sap some time, especially blended in open containers near palm trees. Through consuming raw date palm sap bite by a bat can also cause NiV

  • Avoid eating pork and fruits sourced from infected areas
  • Avoid exposure to sick pigs and bats in areas where the virus is already prevalent
  • Avoid long distance travelling when you experience any signs like fever, loss of consciousness. 
  • If you notice any initial symptoms, report immediately to the doctor
  • To minimize your risk of infection, maintain a good level of personal hygiene
  • Isolate the sufferer if the infection gets identified to prevent the transmission.
  • Use proper mask, cape and gloves while nursing the patients infected with NiV

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