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The Deadly Nipah Virus: Everything You Need to Know!

The Deadly Nipah Virus: Everything You Need to Know! June 11, 2019Leave a comment

The infamous Nipah Virus (NiV) took the lives of 17 people in 2018. Again in May 2019, a 23-year-old student from Kerala was detected with NiV. The news spread quicker than the virus itself, but many are still unaware of what the panic is all about. Here is everything you need to know about the Nipah Virus:

What is Nipah Virus:

The WHO (World Health Organisation) specifies ‘Nipah’ as a virus that can be transmitted from animals to humans or could be transmitted directly through food or people. Generally, it affects animals such as pigs, dogs, horses, and others. NiV is very dangerous because it causes severe diseases like Pneumonia, and often leads to the patient’s death.

How Does It Spread?

Nipah Virus is contagious. It spreads very easily among humans if they come in contact with an NiV patient through their secretions or excretions. The virus can also transmit if one comes in direct contact with an animal like pigs, bats, etc. However, it does not spread by air.

Symptoms:

Initial symptoms of Nipah infection include minor signs like fever, headache, muscle ache, sore throat, and vomiting. In later stages, the patient feels dizzy, and gets acute respiratory syndrome or atypical pneumonia. These symptoms may emerge in about 24-48 hours. The patient often goes into a coma, and eventually dies.

Treatment:

When it comes to treating NiV, precaution is the best measure, as there is no cure for it as of 2019. WHO mentions that the drug ‘Ribavirin’ has shown to be effective against Nipah. However, it was tested under laboratory conditions. According to WHO, “human investigations have been inconclusive and the clinical usefulness of Ribavirin remains uncertain”.

Every now and then, an epidemic takes place in the world. But we can minimise the effects of Nipah Virus as much as possible. The only thing we have to maintain is hygiene.