Nipah Virus Symptoms and Causes
Nipah virus is a highly contagious and a deadly virus. It is first found in pigs. The virus spreads from bats and pigs and in rare cases human to human. Nipah virus is transmitted when a person comes direct contact with contaminated bodies.
When a person is infected with the Nipah virus, they experience encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. It takes 5 to 14 days for the symptoms of an infection to start to appear.
The common symptoms include fever and headaches that are followed by disorientation, drowsiness and confusion. It’s then possible for the symptoms to progress to a coma.
Some patients show neurological, respiratory and pulmonary signs as well. Therefore, do not ignore any such signs. The symptoms may last up to 7 to 10 days.
Watching out for respiratory illness during the early stages is also a must.
There is no cure for the Nipah virus. The infected people are treated with supportive care, which includes making sure the person stays hydrated, and treating any nausea or vomiting.
Avoid direct contact with infected pigs, bats and humans. Health professionals attending to infected patients should take precautionary measures, such as wearing masks and gloves. If you feel uneasiness when in and around an infected region, get yourself tested immediately!
Drinking raw date palm sap bitten by a bat can also cause Nipah Virus, it is safe to stay from consuming date palm for some time.
Hospitals also need to raise awareness about symptoms and transmission to avoid human-to-human infections in such settings. Detection is another issue with NiV and anyone who feels the symptoms should get tested thoroughly from a recognized facility.
For laboratory personnel, Nipah virus is classified internationally as a biosecurity level (BSL) 4 agent. BSL 2 facilities are sufficient if the virus can be first inactivated during specimen collection.
In case of animals, wire screens can help prevent contact with bats when pigs are raised in open-sided pig sheds. Run-off from the roof should be prevented from entering pig pens.
Early recognition of infected pigs can help protect other animals and humans. Due to the highly contagious nature of the virus in swine populations, mass culling of seropositive animals may be necessary.
So, try to prevent nipah virus disease transmission and if you see any of these symptoms contact your doctor immediately