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What is Nipah virus?, symptoms, treatment, Everything you need to know about rare deadly infection

Indian state kerala has been on high alert due to death of 10 people. National institute of pune (India), reported Nipav virus is the cause of these deaths.Read full article to know everything about Nipav virus.
Nipah-virus
Nipah virus

What is Nipah virus?

Nipah virus or NiV is named after the village in Malaysia, where the first person succumbed to the disease dur to this virus. NiV had been first reported in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999, Which caused death of 100 people.
NiV is a zoonotic disease, the natural host of the virus are the fruit batsof the pteropodiae Family, Pteropus genus. The virus can be transferred through infected bats, pigs or humans. NiV can also be spread by consuming the infected date palm sap(infected by fruit bats)

Symptoms

According to CDC, the symptoms of NiV infection are visible after exposure and an incubation period of 5 to 14 days. The virus causes 3-14 days of fever and headache, followed by drowsiness, disorientation and mental confusion.
These signs and symptoms can progress to coma within 24-48 hours. 
Some patients have a respiratory illness during the early part of their infections, and half of the patients showing severe neurological signs showed also pulmonary signs, CDC says. 

Precaution 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is no vaccination discovered as of yet in the prevention of the virus.
However, the outbreak can be prevented by;
  • Avoiding consuming fruits eaten by fruit bats and birds.
  • Avoid drinking raw date palm sap.
  • Avoid direct exposure with the sick pigs.
  • Avoid contact with affected humans.
  • Avoid unpasteurized juice. 

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Diagnosis

Virus isolation attempts and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from throat and nasal swabs, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, and blood should be performed in the early stages of the disease. Antibody detection by ELISA (IgG and IgM) can be used later on. 

Treatment

Always remember prevention is better than cure
The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care. Standard infection control practices and proper barrier nursing techniques are important in preventing infections as Nipah virus encephalitis can be transmitted person-to-person.
The drug ribavirin has been shown to be effective against the viruses in vitro, but human investigations to date have been inconclusive and the clinical usefulness of ribavirin remains uncertain, according to CDC.  

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