Nipah Virus Overview
This disease is caused by the Nipah virus, which spreads from animals to humans (also called as a zoonotic disease). Bats are the primary carriers of the disease and pigs act as the virus’ intermediate host, before passing on the virus to humans. Moreover, recent research has also shown that the Malaysian flying fox is also a potential carrier of the virus.
The virus can also spread between humans, through close family members or medical personnel that were in direct contact with the infected. Though the number of Nipah cases is less, the disease is severe enough to raise a health concern. Often, complications from the disease can turn fatal, with mortality rates hitting 74.5%.
Fruit bats are the natural host of the Nipah virus. They are not affected by any disease.
Nipah Virus Symptoms
Symptoms of Nipah virus start to appear after an incubation period of about 5 to 14 days. Initially, the disease exhibits signs that resemble flu symptoms. Common characteristic symptoms include:
- A respiratory infection that can range from mild to severe
- Fever with chills
- Muscle pain and stiffness
- Mental confusion
- Brain inflammation and swelling (encephalitis)
- Eventual lapse into a coma within 24-48 hours
Nipah is a fatal disease that requires intensive medical treatment. Currently, there is no cure for the virus, so treatment is done symptomatically.
Nipah Virus Diagnosis
Nipah virus can be diagnosed through real-time PCR from body fluids and antibody detection through ELISA.
Nipah Virus Treatment
There are no drugs or vaccines for Nipah virus. Intensive care is required to treat neurological and respiratory complications.
To know more about Nipah virus symptoms, keep visiting BYJU’S website or download BYJU’S app for further reference.