Are You Ready To Fight Nipah Virus?
Every morning we wake up to the news of some new kind of virus taking lives of people. Zika Virus, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Ebola and now this Nipah Virus have been scary enough all of us. You hear news in media and start getting ready for the fight against these virus. Some scare and care is needed but sometimes everything goes out of control and even a little regular cough and sneeze becomes a reason for people to think of the worst.
Here is what you need to know all about Nipah Virus and be ready for any eventuality.
What is the Nipah Virus?
NiV or Nipah Virus is a virus transmitted to humans from animals, like all other virus. It was first detected in 1998 in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia and later in Bangladesh in 2004. Like any other virus, Nipah virus also requires a host to help it spread. Pigs are the intermediate hosts while the natural hosts are fruit bats. In 2004, in Bangladesh, people contracted the infection because of the consumption of contaminated fruit. According to WHO, Nipah virus is in ‘Blueprint priority’ diseases category.
How does it spread?
To put in simple words, Nipah virus spreads through various ways.
- Directly from human-to-human close contact, especially with people’s secretions and excretions.
- Consuming fruits which are partially eaten by infected bats
- Eating ‘not so fully cooked’ meat of infected animals.
- Drinking dates, palm sap, toddy, juice.
This is a simple illustration by ‘Research Gate’ which explains the transmission of disease.
Signs and symptoms
Initially there might not be any signs and symptoms but later as infection grows there are influenza like symptoms.
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Acute respiratory infection
- Interference in breathing
- Dizziness, drowsiness
- Encephalitis and seizures occur in severe cases, leading to coma within 24 to 48 hours.
Can we prevent Nipah Virus?
Yes, we can save ourselves from Nipah Virus if we take precautions.
- Avoid unprotected close physical contact with infected people
- Wear minimum NH95-grade masks
- Wash hands regularly with soap
- Avoid consuming partly eaten fruits and unpasteurized fruit juices
- Avoid being around animal pens or enclosures.
- Boil well the freshly collected date palm juice before consuming
- Eat only thoroughly washed and peeled fruits.
- Maintain personal hygiene of the whole family.
Is there any treatment?
Unfortunately ‘NO’. So the only way to save yourself is precaution. Presently, there is no vaccine or drug available for humans or animals. Intensive supportive care for those suffering from severe respiratory and neurological complications is the only answer according to experts.
As options for treatment are almost negligible so the focus should be on prevention.
Hope you found this post on Nipah Virus useful!
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