Nipah virus infection

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Structure of Nipah virus as seen under a very powerful microscope

Nipah virus disease is a disease caused by a dangerous virus. This virus belongs to the Paramyxoviridae family and causes severe disease in humans; about half of all patients die. The virus is spread by fruit-eating bats. [1]

Symptoms[change | change source]

Symptoms of Nipah virus disease start to appear within 3-14 days of infection. When people first get this disease, it looks like some other diseases. People get fever, headache, and throat pain, and they feel very tired. They have difficulty breathing. Later, they get much sicker. They feel dizzy and might become unconscious.[2]

There have been 582 known cases of Nipah virus infection in humans. About half of these patients died.

Transmission[change | change source]

Nipah virus is transmitted by fruit-eating bats

Fruit-eating bats can carry Nipah virus. Humans can get Nipah virus when they come in contact with items that are contaminated by infected bats' excreta.[3] In Bangladesh, people were got Nipah virus when they drank date palm toddy which was contaminated by bats.

Infected bats can also spread Nipah virus to other animals, such as pigs. In Malaysia and Singapore, people got Nipah virus from pigs that had come into contact with infected bats.

Nipah virus can transmit from people to people also. It spreads through body fluids such as saliva, blood, and urine. For this reason, the caretakers of infected people are at an especially high risk of getting Nipah virus. The virus is not known to transmit through air.

Detection[change | change source]

Nipah virus can be detected from throat swabs, cerebrospinal fluid (fluid taken by puncturing the spine), and blood tests. Scientists detect Nipah virus by finding copies of viral genome in the test sample.

After death, Nipah virus can also be identified by examining body tissues.

Treatment[change | change source]

There is no cure for Nipah virus infection. Ribavirin, a drug that fights some viruses, is possibly effective, but its effectiveness has not been well proven yet. Therefore, the usual treatment is to give supportive care, such as giving medicines to reduce fever and other symptoms. People who get very sick from Nipah virus disease may need ventilatory support.

Prevention[change | change source]

Avoiding contact with items contaminated by infected bats is the best way to prevent Nipah virus disease. Since the disease can spread from person to person, those in close contact with a patient must wear protective gear, including special masks, gloves and goggles. Healthcare workers in infected areas should also wear protective gear.

Outbreaks[change | change source]

Nipah virus has caused disease outbreaks in several parts of the world, including Malaysia, Bangladesh, Singapore and India. In 2018, there was an outbreak of Nipah virus in Kerala, India, which was successfully contained.

References[change | change source]

  1. "WHO - Nipah virus infection". WHO.
  2. "Nipah Virus (NiV) - CDC". 31 May 2018.
  3. "Transmission - Nipah Virus (NiV) - CDC".