Nipah Virus India outbreak is worrying. It’s another zoonosis like the Japanese encephalitis,that is a public health and safety concern.
While the State government and central government are doing their best to battle it out the information I share here will help you be aware.
Nurse Lini a young Kerala Nurse and a mother of two wrote to her husband a letter minutes before she left this world. Her husband was working in the gulf and Lini knew her time had come. She succumbed to possibly Nipah infection. The newly emerging Nipah zoonosis shows us how man’s encroachment of forests and spaces occupied by wildlife can and will harm man most. Kerala’s Kozhikode in high alert.
Primary takeaway: Quick Facts about Nipah virus you must know
Nipah virus is a zoonosis. It is transmitted from animal to man. Fruitbat is a natural host. It may take up residence in pigs as intermediate hosts. Symptoms range from severe respiratory syndrome to fatal encephalitis. Highly infectious and human to human transmission suspected.No vaccine available and primary treatment is supportive care in an Intensive care unit.
Nipah virus was named after the region where the first death was reported. Sungai Nipah 60 miles southeast of the capital Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
How is the Nipah virus Transmitted?
It is highly infectious. Maybe spread by infected fruit bats, pigs. It can also infect a wide range of animals make it a public health concern. Fruit bats of family Pteropodidae are natural hosts
Transmitted from saliva, the bite of infected fruit bats. Spread from infected fruit bats to man and also human to human transmission suspected.
Raw Date palm sap may be infected with saliva or urine of fruit bat. Fruits contaminated by saliva from diseased bats. The family in Kerala with index cases had a dead fruit bat in their well. Authorities have sealed the well .The bat blood samples for medical tests. The report is expected on Friday.
Transmission from animal to human through bodily secretions and humans to humans through close contact with bodily secretions and excretions. Spread between family memebers and caregivers in healthcare facilities are common and highly possible.
Is there a vaccine for the Nipah virus?
- No vaccine is available yet.
- No medicine to kill the virus
Nipah Virus India stats:
- 10 dead in Kerala according to reports
- 13 others suspected to be infected.
- 100 people quarantined inside homes
Timeline and geographical spread of Nipah deaths
Reported cases in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia in 1998 and Singapore in 1999
Nipah has killed more than 260 people in Malaysia, Bangladesh, and India in outbreaks since 1998.
According to WHO reports cases detected in Siliguri in India in the past, transmission happened in a healthcare setup and 75% cases occurred in hospital staff or visitors.
Excerpt from Nipah Virus-associated Encephalitis Outbreak, Siliguri, India
Mandeep S. Chadha,* James A. Comer,etal
During January and February 2001, an outbreak of febrile illness associated with altered sensorium was observed in Siliguri, West Bengal, India. Laboratory investigations at the time of the outbreak did not identify an infectious agent. Because Siliguri is in close proximity to Bangladesh, where outbreaks of Nipah virus (NiV) infection was then recently described, clinical material obtained during the Siliguri outbreak was retrospectively analyzed for evidence of NiV infection. NiV-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibodies were detected in 9 of 18 patients. Reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays detected RNA from NiV in urine samples from 5 patients. Sequence analysis confirmed that the PCR products were derived from NiV RNA and suggested that the NiV from Siliguri was more closely related to NiV isolates from Bangladesh than to NiV isolates from Malaysia. NiV infection has not been previously detected in India.
Precaution: Avoid visiting Nipah hit districts now
What is the Government doing to control the spread?
- Ensuring quarantine.
- Setting up control rooms to monitor and fight the virus.
- Giving travel advisories.
- Experts from the New Delhi-based National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and a top hospital have been sent to the state to try and contain the outbreak.
- Nipah awareness campaigns.
What are the Symptoms of Nipah virus infection?
The symptoms may vary. Most commonly :
- Asymptomatic infection
- Fever, respiratory symptoms like cough and respiratory distress.Headaches, drowsiness, and confusion, leading to possible coma and death within a week. There may be both Acute respiratory syndrome and deadly Nipah virus-associated encephalitis.
There is no cure known yet, and patients are only given supportive care. The virus is spread by infected bats, pigs or humans.
Treatment and Prevention
- Quarantine and measures of universal protection in Healthcare facilities and caregivers.
- Intensive care support
What more should we do?
- The world environment day is coming. Let us try to give back the forests to animals and wildlife.L oss of natural habitat makes zoonoses spread .
- Ensure universal use of proper protective outer gears in healthcare facilities. Awareness campaigns for public
- Compensation package for healthcare workers who succumb to death while serving the ill.
Prayers for the family of the young nurse and all those who succumbed. Healthcare pillars are doctors, nurses and all the healthcare workers who make it possible. If we don’t take care every level of the support staff, we risk facing a crisis. Keep our healthcare workers safe.I know the Government tries but maybe we should try even more now.
Disclaimer: This is a post meant to spread awareness and not meant as personal advice. Kindly consult your doctor before deciding on a course of management for any health issues.
Nipah Virus-associated Encephalitis Outbreak, Siliguri, India
Mandeep S. Chadha,* James A. Comer,† Luis Lowe,† Paul A. Rota,corresponding author† Pierre E. Rollin,† William J. Bellini,† Thomas G. Ksiazek,† and Akhilesh C. Mishra*