Nipah Virus is again on the Prowl in Kerala. It’s just a year back that this Virus created a Havoc in the state and went on a killing Spree. The Virus with a fatality rate of over 88% killed 21 people of the 23 cases that were registered in Kerala in 2018 and scared the hell out of the citizens. This year already 5 people are suspected to have contracted the NIV and under isolation already. So, primarily, it is a good idea to avoid travel to and around the region where the Nipah outbreak has just started. Also, here’s all you need to know about this deadly condition. The Nipah infection is associated with Pteropus Bats genus as natural hosts and was first discovered in Malaysia and Singapore among pig farmers. It occurred due to close contact with pigs and is also known to spread through infected fruit bats besides humans and others like dogs, cats, rodents and horses as well. Though, the most likely ones are known to be humans, bats and pigs. The mortality rates in pigs is not high inspite of the fact that the infection rate is In India, the first NIV outbreak occurred in Siliguri West Bengal in the year 2001, taking lives of 45 people out of the 68 detected. Then it surfaced again in 2007, killing all the 5 people known to have contracted the virus.
There is no denial that the Nipah Virus is highly fatal and humans contract it through either the body fluids of pigs, exposure to secretion of sick pigs or corpses. Human to Human contraction occurs through body fluids, saliva of the patient and corpse as well. The fruit bat to human infection is known to spread by consuming raw date palm sap that are contaminated through the saliva or the urine of bats. Even livestock that feeds on wild fruits contaminated via bats with NIV.
Nipah infection can be variable as far as symptoms are concerned right from being asymptomatic to getting fata encephalitis or acute respiratory infection. As of now there is no vaccine or treatment available for humans as well as animals. Even the 2018 Annual Review of WHO R&D Blueprint list has a mention that this condition needs an emergency and speedy research as well as development. The only way at present is to make people aware about the risk factors and the precautionary measures to be taken in order to avoid the outbreak.
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*Sourced from the Internet