Nipah……A Deadly Virus
Do you have reasons to get worried if you learn that a Virus has a fatality rate of 70 percent Yes !! There are credible reasons and the issue assumes further alarming proportions when reports suggest that the pathogen or the bacterium causing it does not have any specificity or is not known.
That is the snapshot of the menacing Nipah (NiV) virus.
Nipah Virus History
The Virus was first detected in 1998 or 1999 in a village called Nipah in Malaysia. Hence Nipah.
It then cut across geographies and spread to Singapore, Bangladesh and India.
It was first thought that pigs were the cause. As a consequence, thousands of pigs were euthanized. However, it was later found that Fruit Bats were the real cause who would drop half-eaten mangoes or other fruits from the trees and the padlocked unsuspecting pigs would eat it and get infected, as the excretion or secretion such as urine, saliva or semen of the bats contained the deadly content. Not only pigs, domestic animals too became intermediate hosts.
Nipah Virus Symptoms
Fever, high fever, vomiting, headache, drowsiness, high blood pressure, disorientation, limp, no reflexes, coma and other neurological symptoms.
Who gets infected
Those who eat infected food. In India, fresh date sap a popular drink in Kerala occasioned the sickness. Others on the high-risk category were people with respiratory tract infections whose cough or saliva spread the disease, as person-to-person contact got identified as a reason for high proliferation.
Treatment and Precautions
Nipah vaccine has not been tested on humans so far. However, a vigorous response, acknowledged by health authorities is underway and some collaborative work by some pharma majors is reportedly on.
Supportive care, personal hygiene, washing hands with antiseptic soap, protective gear, face masks, early detection, isolation of the patient, non – consumption of infected fruit or drink are currently the suggested solutions.
The irony is bats are necessary, as, with their ability to spread seeds and pollinate flowers, rain forests benefit from them !!
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