Nipah Virus - Symptoms, Carriers, How it spreads, Prevention

Nipah Virus – Symptoms, How it spreads, Prevention

What is Nipah Virus Infection

Nipah Virus infection (NiV) is a newly revealed zoonosis that attracts attention and affects both humans and animals and causes severe disease. The natural host of the virus is fruit-bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus. This virus was first identified when it causes diseases in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998. In this case, pigs were the intermediate hosts of this virus.

Like other viruses, this virus also causes fever-like diseases. It recently spreads in India. This disease is quite unknown to the people. The number of deaths is increasing for this virus attack.

How the Nipah Virus Spreads

1) Animal to Human

This disease can spread through the bats and pigs. If human eat fruits which are bitten by any bat or pig, then this disease may be developed. Children should be especially cautious. During the summer season, lots of fruits like mango and litchi are eaten by people, especially by children. In night time bats may bite those fruits in the tree. On next morning those fruits are sold in the market, thus it may difficult to understand whether fruits in the tree have eaten by bats or not. This virus can spread to the human body through saliva and urine of the bats. So, it is always a good idea to avoid summer-season fruits like mango, guava, litchi, date palm, etc. Also, bats may have left their saliva or secretions on trees which can infect you while climbing.

2) Human to Human

Human’s respiratory secretions are the main area of Nipah Virus. Patients coughing and sneezing, urine, saliva, etc are the carrier of this virus.

Nipah Virus Infection – Symptoms

What are the symptoms of this disease? According to doctors, it is very difficult to detect Nipah infection at the initial level. After this virus enters the human body creates brain damage, encephalitis, and respiratory disorders. This disease reveals its symptoms within 4-5 to 45-50 days of the virus entering the body. Like any other viral infection, Nipah infection symptoms are fever, cough, breathing difficulties, frequent headaches, muscle pain, vomiting, dizziness, pneumonia, and senselessness, etc. But, you shouldn’t be unnecessarily worried because not all fever viruses are Nipah Virus. It’s always advisable to get a checkup in case you are from Nipah infected area. It just to be sure that nothing is wrong happened.

Nipah Virus Infection – Prevention

  • It is always advisable to avoid infected pig or bat-like creatures.
  • Pet animals can also be the infected of this virus as they may eat bats-bitten fallen fruits from trees. Always try to keep them indoors and safe from virus infected areas, fruits, beneath the trees, etc.
  • Avoid fruits if you are staying in or beside of Nipah Virus infected area. You should avoid fallen-fruits from a tree or the fruit, you think, that is eaten or bitten by something.
  • You also should keep a distance from bats and pigs because they may be Nipah carrier. So, It is advisable not to eat their meat for some days until the overall situation is under controlled.
  • Still, the government hasn’t warned travel agencies as Nipah Virus has widespread, it should not be any concerning issue while traveling. Though bats can often travel long distance path without any problem. So, there’s always a chance that fruits might get infected through bat-bite. It is always better to avoid those Nipah Virus affected areas and nearby.
  • Avoid sharing food, bed or close contacts with a virus-infected patient.
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