Nipah Virus or NiV is a newly emerging virus which causes severe diseases in both humans and animals. The disease can be transmitted to humans from animals and therefore is dangerous and can be life-threatening if not detected or not cared for properly.
The natural host of the virus is fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family. So, if any person comes in direct contact with such bats or eats fruits bitten and infected by them, they are prone to the disease. But it’s not only bats that can spread it. The virus is capable of transporting itself within the air. So even coming in contact with a contaminated living human, animal, or dead body can cause the transmission.
The symptoms are so severe that it can lead to a coma within 24-48 hours of coming into contact with the virus and even death.
The first identified outbreak of Nipah Virus took place in Malaysia in 1998. In 2004, several cases were recorded in Bangladesh and in parts of India. In 2018, it is back in Kerala. And unfortunately spreading to other parts of the country as well.
Am I Safe?
Even though the disease has spread only in certain southern parts of India, we all are in danger. Why so? We live in a closely connected world. Hundreds of thousands of people travel between regions and can carry infections. Animals can also carry the virus, especially pigs and of course, bats. Moreover, fruits are exported from different regions, consuming which could lead to infections.
So, we aren’t entirely safe. We need to be vigilant and if there are any doubts or symptoms showing in anyone, they should be immediately taken to the nearest hospital for intensive care.