We humans have always been skeptical about the unknown, whether it is a place, person, situation and the worse is a disease.
Diseases, which are yet to be known by man are still regarded as the deadliest. This is mostly due to the fact that, we perceive the disease to be unknown because we do not anything about it. And, only after getting to know the symptoms of the disease and ways to treat it, we can take it under control. One such new disease in India, which has already claimed life in the state of Kerala, is nipah virus.
Nipah, though, not new to the world, yet the most deadly of diseases have already claimed 10 lives in Kerala. This casualty rate might increase if this new disease in India is not controlled as per the authority.
What makes this new disease in india, Nipah so deadly is its still unknown cure to medical science. Only prevention can be taken from this disease. Let’s take a look at the nipah virus symptoms, origins and precautions from this disease.
What is Nipah Virus?
Newly emerging zoonosis, the fruits bats are the natural carrier of this disease. This disease is transmitted to humans and animals alike. The new disease in india, Nipah takes its name from a Malaysian Village, Sungai Nipah, where this disease was first identified in the year 1998. Nipah was a mass outbreak amongst the pig in Malaysia, which left approximately 300 people infected. Almost 100 people died in Malaysia that year.
The death rate of this disease is said to be 75%. Millions of pigs were euthanized by the authorities in an attempt to stop the outbreak of this disease. The euthanized of the pigs led to tremendous loss of trade during that time in Malaysia.
Although this epidemic disease was first identified in Malaysia, there was no such case of outbreak ever recorded in India until now. The virus is transmitted to the humans who have direct contact with the animals like bats or pigs. It is also said that the half eaten food of the infected bats is likely to spread the virus to humans and other animals. Due to this reason, this new disease in India, Nipah spread quickly among the family members of the infected person.
What to know about the current outbreak?
The recent outbreak of Nipah virus in Indian state of Kerala is said to have spread through fruits which were contaminated by bar urine and saliva. In the 2004 Nipah outbreak in Bangladesh, the disease spread from the raw date palm sap, which the people drank.
It is said by the experts that the origin of the recent outbreak in Kerala was caused by the dead bats that was found in a well. The well was located in the family home at Changaroth. The virus quickly spread among the family members and also to the people who were in contact with that family.
What are the symptoms of Nipah virus?
The onset nipah virus symptoms are fever with vomiting and severe headache. Some patients might also experience acute respiratory syndrome. These initial symptoms are also accompanied by some psychological and physical setback like, drowsiness, disorientation and mental confusion. Within two days the patient infected can experience coma and finally, death.
The advanced nipah virus symptoms also include aggressive inflammation of the brain also known as encephalitis. The incubation period spans from five to 14 days as per the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. The incubation period can also vary when the first signs of infection appear after three to 14 days.
What is the cure of this infection?
According to WHO or World Health Organization, there is no vaccine or cure available for nipah virus symptoms. This is true to both humans and animals. The affected person needs to be quarantined to prevent the further spread of the disease. The treatment options include intensive and supportive care. As the disease can be passed down quickly from one person to another through contact, regular protocols for infection control are put to place.
How to protect from Nipah virus?
Prevention is always better than cure and this notion is true to its very core for this new disease in India, Nipah. To prevent the infection from spreading, people in the affected areas should avoid coming in direct contact with the affected people. Also, the domestic animals should be taken care of equally and ensure that they are also not affected or kept in close contact with the affected.
The spread of the Nipah virus symptoms can be controlled with proper precaution and authorities in Kerala are on high alert currently. Medical camps are set up to check the further spread of this infection.
With proper knowledge and education to the public about this disease, Nipah virus can be controlled. Specific instructions are given to the public with infection control practices so that consumption of fruits does not become deadly.
Painter and a Cynophilist, Ipshita Maulik swears by yoga and started writing when she least expected it. From Kolkata, she is currently working as a Content Writer in a Digital Marketing Company. Here are few things she loves- eating at new places, hanging out with her friends and everything that are cruelty free.