NIPAH (NiV) virus is latest arising zoonosis (a disease which can be transmitted to humans from animals) which can cause severe diseases in both humans and animals. NIPAH is a rare virus which is spread by fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus. This virus is can also cause diseases in pigs and other animals. Also, there is no vaccine for either humans or animals. In case of humans, the primary treatment is intensive supportive care. Recently in Kerala, 11 people are killed by NIPAH virus.
These 8 Things You Must Know About This Virus:
1. The virus has its horrible reputation. It can kill between 40-100% of those who are affected with it. The virus starts showing it’s symptoms from 4 to 14 days. The early stage symptoms can be common cold or general infections.
2. It can affect both humans and animals. People working close with animals can be susceptible because almost 60% of all infections in human comes from animals.
3. The virus can affect neurological and respiratory systems. In most of the cases in the Indian Subcontinent, the lungs are the most affected. People affected with it can go through rapid oxygen hunger or increasing breathlessness.
4. There is no particular treatment for the patients. Patients needs to be closely monitored in intensive supportive care. They may also need respiratory support.
5. However, this might be quite surprising but this breakout is not the first ever to happen in India. There were two more in 2001 and 2007 which killed 50 people in Bangladesh.
6. Increasing population density will make human-animal more which will increase the chances of virus cross infection. This common phenomenon can also be known as virus ‘jumping’ species. Swine flu is the common examples of this phenomenon.
7. If people living away from the outbreak area have symptoms such as fever and headaches then they are more likely to suffer from common flu rather than NIPAH. But for those who are living near the outbreak area then they should concern about it and be seeking early advice should be sensible.
8. Outbreaks are more likely to happen in small areas and can be brought under control with the help of quarantine and treatment protocols.