- Nipah virus survivors may end up having neurological problems
- The infection can only be dealt with supportive care
- There are no vaccines for preventing Nipah virus
A student in Kerala's Ernakulam has been tested positive for the deadly Nipah virus. The virus killed 17 people in the state last year. Coming in direct contact with infected fruit bats or infected pigs is the usual way that Nipah virus outbreak begins. Consumption of raw date palm that is contaminated with bat faeces is another common way one can catch the virus.
10 things to must know about Nipah virus
1. Nipah virus infection is zoonosis that is transferred when one comes in contact with an NiV-infected animal or person. Secretions of NiV-infected animal have high fatality rate in humans infected with the virus.
2. Signs and symptoms of Nipah virus include headache, fever, dizziness, vomiting, sore throat, muscle ache and atypical pneumonia.
3. Risk factors of Nipah infection include coming in close contact with infected animals such as bats, pigs or humans infected with the virus. Consumption of raw date palm sap also poses a significant risk as the date palms may be contaminated with bat excrement.
4. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the only current treatment for this viral infection is supportive care.
5. There is no vaccine that can offer protection from Nipah virus.
6. A combination of tests can help in diagnosis of Nipah virus. Viral isolation, RT-PCR, and antibody detection by the ELISA tests are three tests that professionals use to diagnose Nipah virus infection.
7. Prognosis of NiV infection ranges from fair to poor. According to World Health Organization (WHO), fatality rate of Nipah virus ranges from 40 to 75%. Survival rate depends on local capabilities, surveillance and supportive care.
8. Survivors of Nipah virus may result in some neurological problems such as seizures. They may even experience some personality changes.
9. There are chances that the survivors may subsequently relapse. They are also at risk of developing delayed onset of encphalitis.
10. There are no specificities in terms of preventing Nipah virus. The best you can do is avoid date palm sap and stay away from bats or any other potentially infected animals like pigs. Healthcare professionals are recommended to wear gloves and protective clothing during medical procedures. Close contact with the person infected also needs to be avoided.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.