Nipah Virus is one of the deadliest viral infections that need to be addressed with systematic and scientific preventive mechanisms. Since there are no medications or vaccines found to cure the infections, prevention is the only means through which you can stay away from the safe. However, there is nothing to be worried about the infection, if you take enough preventive mechanisms.
It is also important to understand that the infection is transmitted mainly through fruit bats. Hence, it is vital to stay away from such organisms and also to ditch the fruits that might have come in contact with them. Even if this particular viral infection is quite deadly in all aspects, it has not yet spread to other parts of the world, apart from certain Asiatic regions.
Countries like Bangladesh are some of the regions that have experienced the deadly effects of the Nipah virus, in all its severities. This article is all about the viral infection of Nipah, the causes leading to the infection, some of the major symptoms that express the infection, and also the available treatment options or treatments that have been administered so far.
Nipah Virus Alert: What You Need to Know About the Threat
Nipah is a viral infection that transmits between animals and people. Hence it can also be regarded as a zoonotic virus. As per the conclusion of many scientific studies and research that has been conducted on the infection of this particular virus, it has been found that fruit bats or flying foxes are the main animal species that are responsible for this deadliest transmission of the virus.
However, animals such as pigs, goats, horses, dogs, and cats have also been held responsible for the transmission of the same. The chances and contexts when and where the transmission of the virus happens have been mentioned below in detail.
- If animals or human beings get exposed to the body fluids of an infected animal or human being, there are high chances for them to develop the infection, in a matter of few days. Body fluids potent for transmission include pee, poo, saliva, and also blood.
- Being an uninfected person, if you eat food items, especially fruits that have been touched or exposed to an infected animal or human being, the chances for you to get infected with the virus are also relatively high.
- If you are someone who works in the medical field or someone who is an immediate family member of an infected person, you also stand a greater chance of getting infected with the virus. There are a lot of medical professionals who lost their lives while caring for the infected as a part of serving their duties.
Nipah virus can be effectively prevented if you can identify the geographical areas of the transmission of the infection and stay away from them until there is an official confirmation from the authorities stating that the area has been completely free from any kind of infection.
Even if you take extreme care not to come in contact with any infected animals or human beings in the area, you stand a higher chance of getting infected with the virus, just by visiting the place. Fruits or any kind of food items from the infected region should also be avoided to stay safe and avoid all probable chances for the virus to enter your body.
Brain infection is the major symptom that can be found in people who are infected with the virus. Since medical science has not invented any kind of medications or vaccinations to treat the infection, reducing the severity of the symptoms and thereby preventing death is the only way possible to treat the same.
Causes Of Nipah Virus
1. Virus transmission through the body fluids
This is one of the prime causes of Nipah virus infection. This can be avoided by maintaining a proper distance from the infected individuals. It is also important to note that any kind of body fluids such as saliva, pee, poo, and blood can cause this infection.
Even if you are wearing protective overalls, there are high chances for you to get infected. Hence, the only way possible to prevent this particular cause is by isolating the individual and also by maintaining a distance
2. Consuming infection-exposed fruits
Once the authorities have confirmed a region of Nipah infection, make sure not to consume any food items from the area. Food items and fruits bitten by fruit bats are the next main cause of this viral infection. While consuming fruits, it is important to physically analyze them and make sure that there are no bite marks or holes in them.
Symptoms Of Nipah Virus
Fever especially of higher intensity and temperature are some of the characteristic symptoms of this particular infection. Typically, the fever associated with Nipah is less likely to subside with regular medication prescribed for common viral fever.
2. Breathing Difficulties
The person infected with the Nipah virus also has an elevated risk for breathing difficulties. This is due to the infection of the virus in the respiratory system of the individual.
3. Brain infections
Brain infections can also be noticed in individuals having this particular viral infection. This may cause disorientation, confusion, headaches, and other related symptoms.
Nipah Virus Treatments
As already mentioned, there is no medicine or vaccine available as of now to specifically treat the condition. However, it is important to closely examine the symptoms you have and then get your condition diagnosed as early as possible. This can help you treat the symptoms without causing any possible delay.
The earliest diagnosis can effectively prevent casualties such as the loss of life. Apart from that, it can also help the individual suffer less from the infection.
That is all you need to know about the Nipah infection that has been creating havoc in several regions in India and Bangladesh. It is also important to stay calm and worry less so that you will not end up adding psychological stress to an already worse physical condition.
It is also vital that you take necessary precautions and follow all the directions and safety instructions as released by the government authorities to cooperate with the defense of an entire community including you.
- World Health Organization. Fact sheet: Nipah virus (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/nipah-virus). Last reviewed 5/2018. Accessed 6/20/2023.
- Banerjee S, Gupta N, Kodan P, Mittal A, Ray Y, Nischal N, et al. Nipah virus disease: A rare and intractable disease (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6409114/). Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2019 Feb;8(1):1-8. Accessed 6/20/2023.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.). What is the Nipah Virus? (https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/nipah/about/index.html) Last reviewed 10/2022. Accessed 6/20/2023.