Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus.
NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998. On this occasion, pigs were the intermediate hosts. However, in subsequent NiV outbreaks, there were no intermediate hosts. In Bangladesh in 2004, humans became infected with NiV as a result of consuming date palm sap that had been contaminated by infected fruit bats. Human-to-human transmission has also been documented, including in a hospital setting in India.
NiV infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis. NiV is also capable of causing disease in pigs and other domestic animals. There is no vaccine for either humans or animals. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive .
Signs and Symptoms
Fever and Headache,Myalgia (muscle aches),sore throat,vomiting,Dizziness and/or Acute Respiratory Syndrome or Atypical Pneumonia.
No Previous outbreaks have been reported in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Laos and Malaysia. NiV was first identified during an outbreak of disease in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia, in 1998. On this occasion, pigs were the intermediate hosts. However, in subsequent Nipah virus outbreaks, there were no intermediate hosts. In Bangladesh in 2004, humans were infected with Nipah virus after consuming date palm sap that had been contaminated by infected fruit bats.
Laboratory Diagnosis of a patient with a clinical history of NiV can be made during the acute and convalescent phases of the disease by using a combination of tests. Virus isolation attempts and real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from throat and nasal swabs, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, and blood should be performed in the early stages of disease. Antibody detection by ELISA (IgG and IgM) can be used later on. In fatal cases, immunohistochemistry on tissues collected during autopsy may be the only way to confirm a diagnosis.
As options for treatment are limited, the focus should be on prevention. Strategies include preventing farm animals from eating fruit contaminated by bats and avoiding consumption of contaminated date palm sap. Healthcare workers caring for patients should put in place standard precautions including washing hands. Wearing a gown, mask, cap and gloves is also recommended.
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