5 Facts On Nipah: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

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5 Facts On Nipah: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

According to the WHO, no drugs or vaccines specific for Nipah are currently available.

New Delhi:
The Nipah alert in Kerala’s Kozhikode after two ‘unnatural’ deaths were reported due to fever has brought back panic and grim memories of the earlier outbreaks that claimed several lives.

Here is a 5-point explainer on Nipah virus

  1. Nipah is a zoonotic virus that can spread from animals to humans and then among humans. The virus is named after a Malaysian village it was first detected in. Fruit bats, also known as flying foxes, are hosts for Nipah virus.

  2. Fruits bats infected by the virus are spread the infection to humans or other animals. Close contact with an infected animal or with its body fluids carry high risk of transmission. An infected person can pass on the virus to another.

  3. A Nipah infection can cause a problems ranging from respiratory issues to fatal encephalitis – meaning inflammation of the brain. The symptoms include fever, headache, cough, difficulty breathing and vomiting. More severe symptoms are disorientation, seizures and coma. According to the World Health Organisation, cases of Nipah infection have a fatality rate between 40 per cent to 75 per cent.

  4. According to the WHO, no drugs or vaccines specific for Nipah are currently available. “Intensive supportive care is recommended to treat severe respiratory and neurologic complications,” a WHO note on Nipah infection says.

  5. The global health body stresses that the only way to reduce or prevent Nipah infection in people is by spreading awareness. It recommends public educations messages asking people to wash fruits thoroughly washed before consumption and following precautions after coming in contact with infected people.



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