Nipah Virus or NiV is a virus which causes disease both in animals and humans. Host of the virus is fruit bats from Pteropodidae Family. It can also transmit from human to human through direct contact.
Kerala (India) is on high alert since 16 people died because of the Nipah Virus. This is the reason why it’s in news currently. The virus was first discovered in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998. It infected about 260 people.
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Nipah Virus (NiV) outbreak
Nipah Virus was first discovered in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998. It was found in pig and pig farmers. By 1999, more than 260 cases were registered out of them about 50% of the infected people died. Later in 2001 it emerged in India and Bangladesh. Again in 2003, 2004 and 2005 appeared in Bangladesh in various districts.
In 2018, Kerala (India) became the victim of Nipah Virus. It claimed about 18 lives and people in the state were scared and confused on what to do.
How it spreads?
By coming into contact (e.g. eating) with the partially eaten fruits by infected bats and pigs. It can also transmit from human to human by direct contact with the infected person (dead or alive).
Early stages after the infection includes headaches, drowsiness and fainting. The symptoms might take 3 to 14 days to appear. It can also lead to disorientation and mental confusion to the infected. These symptoms might make the person to go into a coma and will lead to death.
Since the 1998 till 2008 about 477 Nipah cases were registered. Out of them around 250 people died with a mortality rate of over 50%.
And in May 2018, 18 people died of Nipah Virus in Kerala, India. But fortunately it’s being controlled successfully.
As of today, there is no cure for the virus but we can protect ourselves from these viruses.
- Do not eat any half eaten fruits.
- If there is Nipah outbreak in your state, avoid going in densely populated area like train, bus etc. If you need to go then take utmost care of yourself.
- Try to avoid sick people and wear gloves and mask.
- Keep a track of where you are touching your hands and bodies. wash your hands regularly. Even you can take a bath.