Nipah Virus Infection

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What is Nipah virus infection?

Nipah virus is transmitted from animals to humans, hence called zoonotic virus. It can also be transmitted from person to person and through eating contaminated food. It’s infection can range  from person being asymptomatic to acute respiratory distress to fatal encephalitis.

Symptoms of Nipah Virus infection:

  1. Fever
  2. Headache
  3. Muscle pain or myalgia
  4. Vomiting
  5. Sore throat

Diagnosis of Nipah Virus infection:

Since the symptoms are non-specific , nipah virus infection is not suspected at presentation.

If there is an outbreak then the tests used to are 

  1. RT-PCR ( Real time polymerase chain reaction)
  2. ELISA ( Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay)

Outbreaks of Nipah Virus infection:

First recognised outbreak was in Malaysia, which caused due to direct contact with sick pigs or unprotected exposure to tissue of sick animal.

In subsequent outbreaks, consumption of fruits or fruits products such as raw date palm juice, contaminated with infected fruit bats, was likely source.

Treatment of Nipah Virus Infection:

No Drugs or Vaccine available for treatment . Intensive supportive care is given for acute respiratory care and neurological complications.

Prevention of Nipah Virus Infection:

  1. Avoid exposure to bat in endemic areas
  2. Do not drink palm toddy contaminated by bats
  3. Do not eat fruits partially consumed by bats
  4. Do not drink water from wells, infested with bats.

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