Nipah Virus, an emerging zoonotic pathogen, that causes brain fever that basically spreads from fruit bats to livestock and humans. This deadly Niapah Virus has taken nine lives in Kerala and now the districts of Gorakhpur and Maharajganj are said to be highly susceptible to this virus. This virus was initially discovered when it caused an outbreak of brain among the pig farmers in Malaysia. Although the initial presentation of this virus is non-specific, but it can be characterized by the sudden onset of fever, sore throat, headaches, nausea vomiting, muscle pain (myalgia), breathing problems are some common symptoms of Nipah Virus. If any of them is detected, one should consult the doctor as soon as possible. It can also be diagnosed by ELISA which is currently done at National Institute of Virology, Pune. Supportive care is the mainstay of treatment and infected patients may require intensive care monitoring.
This virus is transmitted from person to person and there is no approved specific antiviral therapy for this infection, So the prevention is the only cure! Some points should be kept in mind to prevent it such as Avoid contact with pigs and pig handlers, maintain personal hygiene and intensive hand washing practices, avoid consuming raw fruits, consume only well cooked, clean, homemade food till the outbreak settles down, preferably use N95 mask while travelling or working in public places to avoid person to person transmission, Be aware of the symptoms and report to the doctor immediately for early diagnosis and treatment.
By: Divya Thakur