Nipah Virus: Details About This Rare, Fatal Infectious Disease


Here are some details about the Nipah Virus, a deadly infection that already killed 2 in India.

NIPAH VIRUS – Kerala in India has shut some schools and offices after this deadly infection claimed two lives.

World Health Organization (WHO) has listed the Nipah virus as among the diseases that are deserving of priority research because of their potential to create a global epidemic. This along with Ebola, Zika, and Covid-19

Nipah can be obtained from animals or through contaminated food. Transmission from an infected person to another person is also possible. Symptoms include intense fever, vomiting, and a respiratory infection.

In severe cases, it can cause seizures and brain inflammation resulting in coma. The symptoms may show between four and 14 days after exposure.

As of now, there is no vaccine for Nipah.

Apart from having no specific treatments, the treatment for humans is limited to supportive care, including rest and fluids.

An expert shared that treatments are still under development. One, which has already completed phase I clinical trials, is a monoclonal antibody. This is an immune system protein manufactured in a lab. It mimics the antibodies the body is naturally producing when fighting the virus.

Researchers are also studying the potential effectiveness of remdesivir, the same vaccine used to treat the coronavirus which started a global pandemic in 2020. But in 2023, the WHO declared that COVID-19 global health emergency is over.

WHO described the symptoms as a “range of illnesses from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis”.

This disease has a high mortality rate ranging from 40 to 75 percent. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, NiV is a zoonotic virus. I

It was first discovered in 1999 when an outbreak of pigs and people happened in Malaysia and Singapore. This resulted in almost 300 human cases and over a hundred deaths. This event substantially made an economic impact as more than 1 million pigs were dispatched in order to manage the outbreak.

The fact that it can spread from person to person raised concerns about this to cause a global pandemic.

Bangladesh also suffered from annual outbreaks due to this virus since 2001.

WHO stated this information:

Other regions may be at risk for infection, as evidence of the virus has been found in the known natural reservoir (Pteropus bat species) and several other bat species in a number of countries, including Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia, Madagascar, the Philippines, and Thailand.

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