Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging infection that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. 

The natural host of this virus is fruit bats.

NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998. 

In Bangladesh in 2004, humans became infected with NiV, as a result, of consuming date palm sap that had been contaminated by infected fruit bats.

Now Kerala, India is reporting cases of this virus, with unfortunate deaths. 

NiV infection- clinical presentations are:

  1. a headache, 
  2. fever, 
  3. nausea, 
  4. dizziness,
  5. drowsiness and 
  6. mental issues such as confusion. 

These symptoms can last up to 7-10 days. Watching out for respiratory illness during the early stages is also a must. 

Prevention and cure: As of now, there is no particular vaccine available purely for the treatment of Nipah Virus. The only way to treat this virus is through:

  • intensive supportive care. 
  • Avoid travel to affected areas. 
  • Avoiding direct contact with infected pigs, bats and humans in endemic regions should be practised. 

Precautions for Health Professionals: Health professionals attending to such patients should take precautionary measures, such as wearing masks and gloves.

Please remember, If you feel uneasiness when in and around an infected region, get yourself tested immediately.