NIPAH VIRUS (NiV) INFECTION- A NEWLY EMERGING ZOONOSIS CAUSING DANGER TO HUMAN

NIPAH VIRUS (NiV) INFECTION- A NEWLY EMERGING ZOONOSIS CAUSING DANGER TO HUMAN

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  • Introduction: Nipah Virus is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes a severe disease in both Animals and Humans.
  • This may worsen into a state of a coma over a day or two.
  • Complication can include Encephalitis and Seizures.
  • This is a highly contagious and deadly virus.
  • What is Nipah Virus: The virus, a member of the family Paramyxoviridae (genus Henipavirus) is named after the Malaysian Village of Sungai Nipah, where many Pig farmers became ill.

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  • Epidemiology: Nipah Virus was first isolated & identified about 2 decades ago in 1998-99 When Malaysian & Singaporean Pig farmers & others in close contact with the animals suffered from respiratory illness.

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  • Outbreaks: Nipah Virus outbreaks have been reported in Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, and India.
  • The Highest Mortality Rate has been reported about 2 decades ago in Bangladesh in 1999, where about 300 human cases of Nipah Virus were reported, including 100 deaths.

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  • At that time, more than one million pigs were euthanized to contain the outbreaks.
  • In 2001, NiV was again identified and isolated as the causative agent in an outbreak of human disease occurring in Bangladesh.
  • Recent Outbreaks In India: Recently, Nipah Virus came into the limelight when there is 17 people have died due to this fatal contagious viral disease in the Indian State of Kerala, According to the Health Ministry Official.

The virus is more frequent in Bangladesh & India, where exposure to Nipah Virus has been associated with eating raw date palm sap with contact with infected Bats Or Human.

  • Transmission: Transmission of Nipah Virus to human may occur when one comes in direct contact with infected bats, infected pigs or infected people.

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  • The recent outbreak of Nipah Virus in Kerala (May 2018), occurred when people consumed fruits bit by infected fruit bats, When bats carrying the virus bites into fruits, the virus enters the fruits and then infects the humans who consume it.

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  • Bats shed the virus in their excrement and secretions which can infect humans, as well as animals such as pigs, dogs, cows, etc who come into contact with the droppings.
  • The “Hospital-Acquired Infections” – are a major path of human to human transmission.
  • The Nipah Virus is also suspected to get transmitted through coughing. This infection can also easily affect people who come in direct contact with contaminated bodies.
  • Incubation Period: The symptoms may take from 4 to 14 days to appear after a person gets infected.
  • Risks of Exposure: Consumption of raw date palm & contact with bats. Human to Human transmission has been documented & exposure to other Nipah infected individuals is also a risk factor is reported in India & Bangladesh.
  • Signs & Symptoms: NiV infection can progress silently in humans without showing any symptoms. However, people infected with this deadly virus may display Influenza-like symptoms.
  • The Sign & Symptoms of Nipah Virus include:
  • Acute Respiratory Infection, which can be mild to severe and cause interference in breathing.
  • Fever, Muscle Pain, Headaches, Nausea, Vomiting, Sore Throat.
  • Dizziness, Drowsiness, Mental Confusion & Disorientation, Atypical Pneumonia.
  • Brain Swelling or fatal encephalitis. Gradual progression to Coma within 24 to 48 hours.
  • People who survive the infection may suffer from long-term side effects such as Convulsion and Personality Changes.
  • Mortality Rates: The virus can kill between 40% to 100% of those infected by it. Surprisingly, more than 60% of this infection in humans comes from animals.
  • How is Nipah Virus Infection Is Diagnosed:

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  1. Throat & Nasal Swabs.
  2. Blood Tests.
  3. Virus Isolation & Detection.
  4. CSF Analysis, Urine Tests.
  5. ELISA (IgG- IgM).
  6. Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR).
  7. In Fatal Cases, immunohistochemistry on tissues collected during Autopsy may be the only way to confirm it.
  • What is the treatment for Nipah Virus Infection:

Currently, there is no vaccine or treatments available for Nipah Virus, Supportive Care and Prevention is the key to stop the spread and remain safe from this virus.

The drug Ribavirin has been shown to be effective against the virus in vitro, but the usefulness of Ribavirin remains uncertain.

  • How We Can Prevent The Nipah Virus Infection:
  1. People Should prevent the animals from eating fruits contaminated by Bats since the Fruits Bats are the Primary cause of Nipah Virus Infection.
  2. Stay away from consuming date palm for some time.
  3. Avoiding direct contact with Pigs, Bats, Human in Endemic.
  4. Health-Care Professionals to such patients should take precautionary measures such as Wearing Masks, Gloves etc.
  5. To avoid Hospital-Acquired Infections raise awareness about signs & symptoms & transmission to avoid human to human infection in such settings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Afzal Gundigara | Proud member of MEDGAG | Author

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