Kerala is on high alert these days due to mysterious deaths caused by an unidentified viral attack. Out of these, three have been confirmed as having been caused by Nipah Virus (NiV). The virus has no vaccine for animals or humans as of now, and is yet to be understood by many. Here’s a quick post on everything you need to know about NIV, its symptoms and the precautions you must take to protect yourself.
What is Nipah Virus
According to the World Health Organization, Nipah Virus is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes a severe disease in both humans and animals. The virus was first found in Singapore and Malaysia in 1998, where it infected approximately 265 people. 40 %of these patients were taken into intensive care immediately. It was identified in pigs first and soon got transmitted to humans.
Nipah Virus can also be transferred through pigs, bats or humans who are infected. In 2004, people from India and Bangladesh who consumed palm sap contaminated byfruit bats were infected by the virus too.
Symptoms and Signs:
Some of the common symptoms of NIV infection starts with:
- Headache and fever
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Acute respiratory syndrome
- Atypical pneumonia
- Encephalitis or inflammation of the brain
If any of these symptoms are left unattended, the patient might end in a coma within 24-48 hours which will eventually lead to death.
- The biggest reason behind this virus are fruit bats who drop half eaten fruits which ultimately get consumed by humans and animals. Therefore, it is advised for people to avoid consuming date palm sap or pork.
- Often, the virus spreads once you have come in contact with infected people or animals. So, maintain high levels of personal hygiene.
- Be very careful while handling items that have been used by infected people previously.
If you find someone suffering with these symptoms, take immediate action. The Nipah Virus is quick to spread and can get worse if left unattended. Consult a doctor or bring them to Lotus Hospitals!