The emerging virus ‘Nipah’ – Symptoms, treatments and everything you need to know

Nipah Virus In india
People in protective suits prepare to cremate the body of a 12-year-old boy who died of the Nipah virus in Kozhikode, Kerala state, India

Kerela battling with the Nipah virus, a 12-year-old boy dies by infection from the virus.

What the ‘Nipah’ actually is:

Nipah virus infection can cause a variety of clinical manifestations in humans, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory infection to fatal encephalitis. The mortality rate estimated to be 40% to 75%. Significantly, this ratio may vary from epidemic to epidemic, depending on local epidemiological surveillance capabilities and clinical management. Nipah virus can be transmitted to humans through animals (such as bats or pigs) or contaminated food, and it can also be transmitted directly from person to person. Fruit bats of the fruit bat family are the natural host of the Nipah virus.

All about signs and symptoms:

In humans, the Nipah virus has a variety of infections, from asymptomatic infections to acute respiratory infections (mild and severe) to fatal encephalitis. The initial symptoms are fever, headache, myalgia (muscle pain), vomiting, and sore throat. Dizziness, drowsiness, disturbance of consciousness, and neurological symptoms suggestive of acute encephalitis may follow. Some people may also have serious breathing problems. According to WHO guidelines, patients infected with the virus may develop pneumonia, and in severe cases, encephalitis and seizures, which may occur within 24 to 48 hours. The latency of the virus can be between 5 to 14 days and may go up to 45 days.


Nipah virus infection diagnosed based on the clinical history of the acute phase and recovery phase of the disease. The most important tests used are real-time polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) from body fluids and the use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect antibodies. Other tests used include polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays and isolation of viruses by cell culture.

Prevention from Nipah:

Disposal of the corpse of a virus-infected person carried out in accordance with the guidelines. Eat fruits after washing them properly. Also, wash your hands often with soap and water. Wear hospital gloves and other protective clothing when handling sick animals.


There are currently no specific drugs or vaccines for Nipah virus infection.

Cases of Nipah Virus:

With the surge in COVID19 cases, Kerala is currently fighting another virus, the Nipah virus, after a 12-year-old boy died on Sunday in a private hospital in Kozhikode district. Since then, there have been several cases of infection in the state. On May 19, 2018, the Kozhikode area of ​​Kerala reported the first outbreak of Nipah virus disease in southern India. Above all, as of June 1, 2018, 17 people have died and 18 diagnosed. The epidemic was brought under control on June 10, 2018, and announced its end.

Thereafter, in June 2019, there was a new Nipah case in Kochi Prefecture. The only patient was a 23-year-old student who later recovered. According to this year’s case report, the virus has been detected for the fifth time in India and for the third time in Kerala.

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