Can we nip the Nipah virus in it’s bud?
– Madhura Mandlik
18th May 2018 witnessed the first death of an individual infected by the Nipah Virus. Nipah virus has been creating a havoc in the state of Kerala , causing the death of 10 out of the 13 confirmed cases. What do we know about the Nipah virus ?
- First outbreak of the NiV was in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malayasia in 1998.
- It is a RNA virus and is a zoonotic pathogen.
- It belongs to the Paramyxovidae family.
- Definitive host is the fruit bat while the intermediate host are animals like pig.
- Transmission could be from bat-human , pigs- human , human -human.
- Transmission from domestic animals by contact with infected animals , their excreta and secretions and also through infected fruits .
- In Siliguri, India, transmission of the virus was also reported within a health-care setting (nosocomial), where 75% of cases occurred among hospital staff or visitors. From 2001 to 2008, around half of reported cases in Bangladesh were due to human-to-human transmission through providing care to infected patients.
- First case of 3 family members dying after consuming mangoes bitten by infected bats.
Signs and symptoms:
- Acute respiratory symptoms like cough , cold , fever .
- Headache , myalgia.
- May lead to drowsiness and confusion .
- Pay present as atypical pneumonia and ,dad to acute respiratory distress.
- Encephalitis with CNS manifestations .
- Fatality is at 40-75%.
- 20% survivors have CNS deficits like seizure disorder.
- RT- PCR
- Does not have a definitive treatment
- Only supportive treatment
- No vaccine
- Preventive measure are equally important as human to human spread is high
- Health care professionals are at a higher risk
- Standard infection control protocols should be implemented .
Where Kerala stands ?
- An advisory warning has been given by the state of Kerala. They have urged people to a lid traveling to Kozhikode , Malappuram , Waynad and Kannur districts.
- Regulatory authorities have increased the checking of food being exported out of Kerala
- An expert team of professionals from Institute of Virology , Pune and AImS , Delhi is present is Kerala.