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India
21 May 2018

Nipah Virus: All about symptoms, prevention, and treatment

After the Kerala health department confirmed the presence of the Nipah Virus which, so far, has taken 11 lives, efforts are underway to identify all those who have been infected.

Both state, and central authorities are working round the clock to see if the incident was isolated or whether there is actually an outbreak.

Meanwhile, here's what you can do to stay safe.

In context

Nipah Virus: Symptoms, prevention, and treatment

What is the Nipah Virus?

The Nipah Virus (NiV) was first documented in 1998 in Malaysia where it left almost 100 people dead. It is thought to spread by infected pigs and fruit-eating bats, with the latter thought to be natural carriers of the virus.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a Nipah Virus infection

The incubation period of the Nipah Virus is around 5 to 14 days, and symptoms start becoming visible after this period.

Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headaches, and fainting. Other symptoms like choking, stomach ache, vomiting might show up in some cases too.

Chances of contracting encephalitis is high, and there's also a possibility of patients going into coma within two days.

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Prevention

Tackling risk factors and taking precautions can help in prevention

While there are no vaccines at present to immunize people against the Nipah Virus, experts have suggested that tackling risk factors might prove to be more effective in prevention.

It's supremely important to avoid any food/drink which has had the chance to be contaminated by bats.

It's also important to maintain distance with an infected person, and sanitize and wash hands and clothes afterwards.

Precautions to take if someone dies from a NiV infection

Authorities have also warned that it's important to cover the faces of the people who have died from NiV infection so as to stop further spreading of the virus. It is also important to avoid all bodily contact with the deceased.

Treatment is currently only limited to supportive care

Treatment

Treatment is currently only limited to supportive care

Owing to the absence of a vaccine, treatment for NiV-infected patients are currently only limited to supportive care. While not conclusive, intensive supportive care has earlier proved to be relatively effective in helping patients fight the infection.

However, it's extremely important to take standard infection control precautions while treating someone, owing to the contagious nature of the infection.

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Most asked questions

What is tackling risk factors. Can you explain it?

How it is cause? Besides given above symptoms are their any other symptoms through which we can identify Nipah Virus?

Is Nipah virus related to the Ebola virus?

More questions

What is tackling risk factors. Can you explain it?

Asked on 21-05-2018 by Aashish Kumar Chauhan

Answered by NewsBytes

Tackling risk factors means that you can prevent yourself from contracting the disease by keeping in mind the things that can cause it and take effective measures to avoid it like maintaining distance with an infected person, and be sanitizing and washing hands and clothes afterward.

How it is cause? Besides given above symptoms are their any other symptoms through which we can identify Nipah Virus?

Asked on 21-05-2018 by Shivani Dessai

Answered by NewsBytes

The Nipah virus can spread directly from human-to-human via close contact with infected people's secretions and excretions. Also, eating partially-eaten fruits by infected bats and partially-cooked meat of infected animals can also spread the virus. Further, drinking date palm sap/toddy/juice can also trigger the infection. The symptoms of Nipah virus further lead to drowsiness, dizziness, altered consciousness and neurological signs.

Is Nipah virus related to the Ebola virus?

Asked on 21-05-2018 by Judith Hall

Answered by NewsBytes

As of now, no established connection has been found between the two viruses.

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