What are the symptoms of Nipah Virus in humans? What care should be taken to reduce its cases from occurrence?
Nipah virus infection isï¿½zoonotic disease i.e. disease transmitted to humans from animals. The virus belongs to aï¿½new genus termed Henipavirus. Theï¿½natural host of the virus is fruit bat. The virus is present in bat urine and potentially, bat faeces, saliva, and birthing fluids. Pigs can also act as intermediate hosts.
It was first identified in 1998 at Kampung Sungai Nipah village, Malaysia. The virus is named after this village.
Symptoms in humans:
- Fever, muscle pain, and respiratory problems
- Drowsiness, disorientation and delirium
- Inflammation of the brain
- Late onset of Encephalitis
- Persistent convulsions, personality changes
- Patient can slip into coma within 48 hours
- There is no vaccine for disease either for humans or animals
- The main treatment for those infected is intensive supportive care and supportive medicines
- According to WHO,ï¿½ribavarinï¿½can reduce the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and convulsions associated with the disease
- Individuals infected need to be hospitalised and isolated
- The virus threats in need of urgent research and development
Surveillance systems should be established to detect the virus quickly and to initiate appropriate control measures. The Nipah virus is classified as a biosecurity level 4 agent and the tests should be carried out in special labs to prevent its spread.