1. Home
  2. Health
  3. Nipah Virus Outbreak: Identifying the 3 Key Risk Factors to Watch Out For

Nipah Virus Outbreak: Identifying the 3 Key Risk Factors to Watch Out For

The reappearance of the Nipah virus in Kerala's Kozhikode district has raised alarm, leading the state health department to issue a health alert. This follows reports of two "unnatural" deaths and four high-risk contact cases, including a 9-year-old boy on ventilator support.

By Rekha Joshi 
Updated Date

Nipah virus, a potentially life-threatening infection, has reemerged in Kerala’s Kozhikode district, prompting a health alert due to recent cases. While patients are receiving medical care and showing signs of improvement, health experts stress the importance of vigilance and precautions. Here are three critical risk factors to be aware of:

Also Read :- Kerala reported 5 confirmed cases of Nipah virus so far, 77 at high risk, 700 on contact list

Symptoms to Watch For: Nipah virus infection can manifest with various symptoms, including fever, headache, fatigue, muscle pain, respiratory distress, and even encephalitis (brain inflammation). In severe cases, it can progress rapidly to a coma within 24-48 hours, potentially proving fatal.

Transmission from Animal Reservoirs: Nipah virus is zoonotic, meaning it can pass from animals to humans. Fruit bats are the natural reservoirs of this virus. Direct or indirect contact with these bats, their excretions, or saliva can lead to human transmission.

Contaminated Food Consumption: Infection can also occur through the consumption of fruits or juices contaminated with bat saliva or urine.

Additionally, Nipah virus can spread among humans, especially in healthcare settings, once an individual is infected.

Also Read :- WHO chief lauds India’s Ayushman Bharat Scheme

Dr. Harish Chafle, a Consultant Intensivist and Chest Physician at Global Hospitals in Parel, Mumbai, emphasized the seriousness of Nipah virus infection, highlighting that as of his last update in September 2021, there is no specific antiviral treatment available. Supportive care is essential, including isolation to prevent further transmission, symptomatic treatment to manage fever and pain, and intensive care for severe cases, which may require mechanical ventilation for respiratory distress.

While some experimental treatments and antiviral drugs have been explored, their effectiveness remains uncertain. Dr. Chafle concluded by advising individuals to stay informed through healthcare experts and organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and local healthcare providers, for the latest information on Nipah virus, especially regarding any developments in treatment or prevention strategies specific to their region. Staying vigilant and following recommended precautions is crucial in preventing the spread of this virus.

Further reading:
For the latest news and reviews, follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter पर फॉलो करे...