India is racing to control the outbreak caused by the deadly Nipah virus. This virus is not related to SARS-CoV-2 but is considered much more dangerous.
1. What is Nipah Virus?
According to scientists, the Nipah virus is not considered a respiratory infection. This virus was first detected in 1990 in Malaysia. In India, Nipah infection first appeared in 2001 in Siliguri, West Bengal and resulted in at least 45 deaths. By 2018, in the Indian state of Kerala also recorded patients infected with Nipah virus.
2. How the Nipah . virus spreads
The mode of transmission of the Nipah virus is similar to that of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Accordingly, Nipah can be transmitted from animals such as bats or pigs to humans. Or from the food of infected animals will also pass to humans, in addition, scientists have also discovered that it will spread from person to person when in close contact with the fluids of an infected person.
In particular, the fruit bats of the family Pteropodidae are the natural carriers of Nipah’s pathogens. Capable of transmitting the virus to other animals such as pigs, dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep. If a person who has been in close contact with the Nipah virus will also become infected or come into contact with fluids such as saliva, their urine will also become infected.
3. Symptoms caused by Nipah virus
Scientists say that when people infected with Nipah virus may not have symptoms or at the same time will have many different manifestations, from acute respiratory infections to fatal encephalitis. In particular, in those who have symptoms, initially there will be muscle pain, fever, headache, sore throat and vomiting. Then, there will be manifestations such as dizziness or signs of neurological disease, at this time the patient has acute encephalitis. Besides, many people within 24-48 hours had signs of convulsions, coma.
When infected with Nipah virus, scientists say the average incubation period will be from 4 days to 14 days, but also the longest incubation period is up to 45 days.
4. Why could the Nipah virus appearing in India be more dangerous than SARS-CoV-2?
Compared to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Nipah is less infectious but has a higher mortality rate. The World Health Organization (WHO), says Nipah virus causes a mortality rate of 40-70%. The mortality rate of SARS-CoV-2 is about 2%. After being infected with Nipah virus about 20% of people will survive but will leave neurological sequelae such as seizures and prolonged psychophysiological changes. It is worth mentioning that there is still no vaccine for this virus, which mainly only supports the treatment of the disease under the guidance of doctors.
Regarding the treatment of diseases for people infected with Nipah virus, consultant Internal Medicine at Columbia Asia Hebbal Hospital, Bangalore, India, Dr. Pavithra, said the main regimen is to add plenty of water, rest a lot. and treat symptoms as they appear.
Therefore, to prevent this virus, people need to regularly wash their hands, avoid contact with infected people or animals, and eat hygienically.
However, told Straitstimes Dr Fettle, Kerala’s top expert on H1N1, said that at the moment the Nipah virus “is not a concern”, because after facing the disease in 2018, A model disease control procedure has been established by Kerala to deal with this disease most effectively.
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