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What is Nipah Virus?

From symptoms to solutions, expert shares tips to stay safe



Nipah Virus, a zoonotic pathogen, has recently garnered significant attention due to a series of infections reported in Kerala, India. As per the most recent data available, Kerala has confirmed a total of six cases of Nipah Virus infections. In light of these developments, it is imperative for individuals to stay well-informed about local updates and heed the guidance provided by health authorities.

That is why let’s understand what Nipah Virus is, including its symptoms, modes of transmission, and crucial safety measures to prevent further transmission with respect to safeguarding public’s health.

Nipah Virus is a highly infectious virus that can cause severe respiratory and neurological symptoms in humans. It belongs to the Paramyxoviridae family and was first identified in Malaysia in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers.

Nipah Virus infection can manifest in various ways, ranging from mild to severe. Common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle pain, and fatigue. However, more severe cases can lead to respiratory issues, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), seizures, and even death. The diversity in symptom presentation emphasises the importance of early detection and containment.

Understanding how Nipah Virus spreads is essential for prevention:

1. Direct contact with infected animals: Nipah Virus can be transmitted from bats to humans through direct contact. Bats are natural reservoirs for the virus, and handling sick or dead bats can expose individuals to the virus. Additionally, contact with bodily fluids, such as urine or saliva, from infected bats can lead to infection.

2. Human-to-human transmission: Close contact with infected individuals can facilitate human-to-human transmission. This can occur when an infected person coughs or sneezes, releasing respiratory droplets that contain the virus. Such transmission becomes a significant concern during outbreaks.

3. Contaminated food and drink: In some instances, Nipah Virus has been transmitted through the consumption of contaminated food or drink. Raw date palm sap, a local delicacy, can become contaminated with bat saliva or urine, posing a risk to those who consume it.

In conclusion, Nipah virus is a serious health threat that demands vigilance and adherence to safety guidelines. Understanding its symptoms, transmission, and preventive measures is critical in curbing its spread. By staying informed and practicing good hygiene and safety precautions, individuals can contribute to safeguarding public health in the face of this emerging threat.

Divya is a Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has a degree of Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication. She was a former sub-editor at News 24. Her passion for writing has always contributed to her professional and personal growth.