Nipah Virus (NiV)

Context:  Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV) has found evidence of the Nipah virus circulation in the bat population across nine states and one Union Territory. About Nipah Virus:
  • The first outbreaks of the Nipah virus among humans was reported from Malaysia (1998) and Singapore (1999).
  • It belongs to the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus.
  • Fatality Rate: The WHO estimates that between 40% and 75% of cases can result in death.
  • Spread: 
    • It is a zoonotic virus, transmitted from animals to humans.
    • Reservoir: The fruit bat, also known as the flying fox, serves as the animal host reservoir for the virus.
    • Fruit bats transmit the virus to other animals such as pigs, dogs, cats, goats, horses, and sheep.
    • Humans can get infected through direct contact with these infected animals or by consuming food contaminated with their saliva or urine.
  • Symptoms: Fever, headache, drowsiness, disorientation, mental confusion, coma, potential death.
  • Preventive Measures: 
    • Avoid physical contact with an infected person.
    • Wash hands after caring for an infected person.
    • Stay away from consuming raw date palm sap or toddy.
    • Discard fruits with signs of bat bites.
  • Treatments: No specific treatment for Nipah Virus, primary treatment is intensive supportive care.
News Source: The Indian Express

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