Nipah Virus - An Incurable Disease
Nipah Virus (NiV) infection can be an emerging epidemic which is transmitted to humans from animals that cause severe ailments in both animals and humans.
The primary host of the nipah virus is fruit bats of the pteropodidae family, pteropus genus as well as other animals like pigs. The humans get infected from nipah virus after coming into direct contact with the excretions or secretions of the fruit bats and infected pigs.
History of Nipah Virus
Nipah virus infection got its name from a village in Malaysia where the person from whom the nipah virus was first isolated succumbed to the disease.
Nipah Virus is known to be the most infectious disease that first came out in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999 respectively. The symptoms of nipah virus were first diagnosed in Malaysia in 1998 after a brain fever outbreak.
Basically, the first happening of nipah virus infection was occurred when the pigs in the Malaysian farms came in contact with the bats that had lost their habitats because of deforestation. Apart from pigs, the domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses, and sheep were also affected by this fatal virus.
Bangladesh: In 2004, the residents of Bangladesh come in contact and became infected with nipah virus after the intake of the date palm sap that had been contaminated by the infected fruit bats. A widespread transmission of this virus was found in humans on a large scale which has also been documented in a hospital setting in India.
Nipah Virus Transmission
The transmission of nipah virus through the air is not possible. Nipah virus can only be transmitted through a direct contact with the infected bats, pigs, or from other nipah virus infected people. The people have also been warned that they should not use any fruits that have fallen on to the ground.
Symptoms of Nipah Virus
The infection of nipah virus in humans is marked by symptoms of fever, headache, drowsiness, disorientation, mental confusion, coma, and probably death. Nipah virus begins with breathing difficulty, bad headache and fever, and headway to brain fever. The death rate among the infected people is 74.5 percent. The symptoms of nipah virus could continue for 1-2 weeks.
Treatment of Nipah Virus
There are no vaccines or medicines available for the treatment of either humans or animals, which are infected with nipah virus. The only form of treatment is supportive medicines and palliative care.
Prevention of Nipah Virus
The infection from the nipah virus can only be prevented by restricting the direct exposure to sick pigs and bats in endemic areas, by avoiding drinking raw date palm sap and not consuming fruits that have fallen from the trees.
Immense precautions should also be taken when submitting and handling laboratory samples of the virus-infected blood, as well as in slaughterhouses (in case of pigs).