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Nipah outbreak in Kerala

To the Point

1. What is Nipah virus?

2. How common are Nipah outbreaks?

3. What are the symptoms & how dangerous Nipah virus?

 

Discussion on NiV Virus


1. What is Nipah virus?


  • Nipah virus (NiV) is a ‘zoonotic’ virus.


  • It is transmitted to human beings from animals.


  • The virus can also be transmitted through contaminated food, or directly between people.


  • The pathogen that causes NiV encephalitis is an RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae.


  • Genus Henipavirus, and which is closely related to the Hendra virus (HeV).


  • The animal host reservoir for both HeV and NiV is the fruit bat (genus Pteropus), which is commonly known as the ‘flying fox’.


  • Infected fruit bats can spread the disease to other animals as well, such as pigs and also dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep.


  • Human beings can get infected if they come in close contact with the infected animal  bats or other animals such as pigs


  • Body fluids such as saliva or urine ,initial jump of the virus from animal to human is known as a ‘spillover’ event in an outbreak.

 

Brief background


How common are Nipah outbreaks?


  • The first outbreak was reported in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998-99.

 

  • The name Nipah came from the name of the village in Malaysia.


  • The virus appeared initially in domesticated pigs in this first outbreak.


  • Nearly 300 humans were infected, and more than 100 died.


  • Million pigs were culled to contain the spread of the infection.


  • India and Bangladesh have seen multiple outbreaks of NiV.


  • In Bangladesh, the virus appeared in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011.


  • In India, the outbreaks have so far been limited to West Bengal and Kerala.

 

3. What are the symptoms & how dangerous Nipah virus?


  • NiV infection can cause a mild to severe disease, which in the latter situation sees a major swelling in the brain (encephalitis), and can lead to death.


  • Symptoms of the infection can appear at any time from four days to two weeks after exposure to the virus.


  • Patients usually report a fever and headache that can last from three days to a couple of weeks, accompanied by symptoms of respiratory illness such as cough, sore throat, and difficulty in breathing.


  • If the disease progresses to encephalitis, the patient may experience drowsiness, disorientation, and mental confusion, which can then progress very quickly to a coma within 1-2 days.

 

  • Between 40 per cent and 75 per cent of cases can lead to death, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

 

  • At present Nipah outbreak in Kerala mitigate with Micro-level restrictions containment strategies.


Source: IE


Keywords
Nipah outbreak in Kerala, COVID, Nipah virus.