Topic of the Day – Nipah Virus (NiV)

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Nipah Virus (NiV)

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), Nipah Virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes a severe disease in both humans and animals. The virus was first identified in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia and in Singapore in 1998. At that time, it was primarily caused in pigs and through them got transferred to the humans. As quoted by the World Health Organisation, the natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus.

  • The spread of the virus is rapid and fatal. The mortality rate with the infected patients is as high as 70%
  • Nipah Virus is an airborne transmission infection and can affect those who come in direct contact with contaminated bodies such as pigs or bats carrying the virus.
  • Infected Bats shed the virus through the excreta and secretions. Human-to-human transmission has also been documented.
  • NiV is also capable of causing disease in pigs and other domestic animals.
  • Direct contact with the Pigs is the prime mode of transmission of the virus in humans.


Symptoms of NiV Infection:

  • Nipah Virus is usually associated with inflammation of the brain due to which severe days of fever can often lead to a state of confusion, disorientation and even persistent drowsiness.
  • Encephalitis may also emerge as acute or late onset.
  • Neurological, respiratory and pulmonary signs also emerge in an infected individual.
  • Some common signs and symptoms of NiV are drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, fever, headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and mental issues such as confusion.



So far, no vaccine has been developed for curing the infection in both humans and animals. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care and supportive medicines.


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