Nipah Virus in India 2021: Virus Nipah Symptoms, Prevention and Cure
The Nipah virus in India 2021 is a new threat for us. Now scientists have found the presence of Nipah virus antibodies in two species of Bats. These findings have given a big reason to worry about the Nipah virus outbreak in India. Although, we are still struggling with Covid-19 disease.
Now Nipah Virus which is deadlier than Covid-19 has knocked us. Here is everything you should know about the Nipah virus (NiV).
What is Nipah Virus (Niv)
Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus, a type of RNA virus. The primary animal host for the Nipah virus is the Flying Fox which is also known as Fruit Bat. Nipah Virus (NiV) spread between animals and people initially and later from person to person. Nipah virus is in the top 10 priority list of deadly pathogens identified by the world health organization (WHO).
Nipah Virus in India 2021 Outbreak
Malaysia is the country where the Nipah virus was first seen in Pigs and Pig farmers in 1998.
January 2001 – Nipah virus was seen in Siliguri District in India
April 2001 – Meherpur district, Bangladesh.
Between 2001 and 2011 – Many outbreaks of the Nipah virus were recorded in Bangladesh. The mortality rate was found very high ranging from 40% to 75%. In 2011 the death of 21 schoolchildren was recorded due to the Nipah virus in Bangladesh.
Nipah Virus outbreak in Kerala
Virus Nipah outbreak in India was seen in Kerala. First in the year 2018 and now seen in Kerala again in 2021.
May 2018 – Nipah virus outbreak was recorded in Kerala near Calicut and 21 deaths were recorded.
June 2019 – Again one Nipah virus case was reported in Ernakulam district in Kerala.
September 2021 – A 12 years old boy was found Nipah virus positive in Kozhikode district Kerala. He lost his life after 4 days of admission to the hospital. Few healthcare workers also have positive symptoms matches with the Nipah virus.
Samples of suspected cases have been sent to the National Institute of Virology Pune for testing. A large group of people is also suspected those could have come in contact with the Nipah virus patient.
The mortality rate of the Virus Nipah is too high. Nipah virus is more dangerous than Covid-19. The mortality rate of the Nipah virus is recorded ranges from 40% to 75%, however, the mortality rate of Covid -19 is recorded between 1%-2%.
If the Nipah virus spread is not contained, it can be a cause of another disaster in India. Moreover, the complication of the Nipah Virus disease develops very fast.
Patients can go into Coma within 24-48 hours of first symptoms in severe cases.
How does the Nipah virus spread
This virus Nipah is a deadly zoonotic virus that transmits from animals to people initially. The main host of the Nipah virus is Bat Fruit, also called Flying Fox.
People who live with Pigs and the people and who eat the contaminated fruits by Flying Fox or Fruit Bat are more prone to the Nipah virus disease.
A person who comes in contact with an infected patient is also equally at risk to get the infection of the Nipah virus.
Symptoms of Nipah Virus
The patient of virus Nipah starts developing initial symptoms between 5 to 14 days of the infection.
Following are the initial symptoms of the Nipah virus.
- Difficulty in breathing in few patients
- Sore throat
- Nausea and Vomiting
Initial symptoms deteriorate within 24 to 48 hours of infection. The disease gets complicated and can lead to even death. Following severe symptoms indicates that the patient is in danger and the disease went into complications.
The main cause of these severe symptoms of the Nipah virus is swelling in the brain which is called Encephalitis.
Sever symptoms of Nipah Virus
- Mental confusion
- Seizures and Convulsions
How to Diagnose Nipah Virus
Nipah virus is an RNA-based virus. The RNA of the virus Nipah can be detected in the throat swab, patient’s urine, and cerebrospinal fluid of the patient. The test name is RT-PCR test likewise Covid-19 RT-PCR testing.
IgG and IgM antibodies can also be detected in recovered patients. The antibodies test is done through blood samples which indicates the presence of antibodies in the blood against the virus Nipah.
Is Nipah Virus (NiV) Curable
According to the virologists and Doctors. Nipah virus is considered a fatal and dangerous disease because there is no vaccine or medicine available to treat it.
The death rate of the Nipah virus is too high and is considered the most fatal disease. The case fatality rate is recorded ~ 40%-75% among Nipah virus cases however the case fatality rate of Covid-19 is between 1% to 2%.
You can imagine how deadly this disease is. The only cure for the Nipah virus is prevention and avoid contact with infected animals and infected people.
Prevention of Virus Nipah
As per the Center for disease control and prevention (CDC), the following steps should be taken for the prevention of the Nipah virus outbreak.
- Hand Hygiene – Practice hand washing regularly with soap and water or Alcohol-based sanitizers
- Avoid contact with the infected patients, their blood or body fluids
- Avoid contact with sick Fruit Bats or Pigs
- Do not live in the area where Bats are known to roost
- Do not eat raw date palm sap
- Do not consume fruits that are half bitten and may be contaminated by Bats
- Watch the symptoms of the patient and notify the disease to competent authorities to avoid further spread of the disease.
Prevention is better than cure, so please be careful and follow hand hygiene practices and all the above prevention methods to save yourself and your family.
Thanks for reading
Dr Musharraf Husain