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Nipah Virus Spread in Kerala: What Are the Symptoms? How To Protect Yourself?

Following the death of a 12-year-old boy due to Nipah virus in Kerala, the state has been put on high alert.

Updated
F.A.Q
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>What are the symptoms of Nipah virus? How can one protect themselves? Here's all you need to know.</p></div>
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Following the death of a 12-year-old boy due to Nipah virus in Kerala on Sunday, 5 September, the state has been put on high alert.

Two health workers, who were in contact with the minor, have been quarantined after they showed symptoms of the infection. The state has also identified 158 people who have come in contact with the child, with at least 20 being primary contacts.

What are the symptoms of Nipah virus? How can one protect themselves? Here's all you need to know.

What is Nipah virus?

Considered an emerging infection, Nipah virus is a disease that causes severe illness in both humans and animals.

The infectious disease was first identified in Malaysia in 1998 – with pigs being the immediate host. Research showed that the disease first spread when humans came in contact with the pig feces.

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How does it spread?

Nipah virus spreads through fruit bats, pigs or from other infected people – which means it is communicable.

What are the symptoms?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the following are the symptoms of Nipah virus:

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Drowsiness

  • Disorientation

  • Vomitting

  • Acute respiratory infection (ranges from mild, severe)

The person may also get encephalitis or seizure in severe cases and may progress to coma in 24-48 hours, reported FIT.

Is it deadly?

Nipah virus has recorded a fatality rate ranging from 40 to 75 percent, according to the WHO.

How can I protect myself from Nipah virus?

  • Maintaining personal hygiene is of extreme importance.

  • Wash your hands regularly.

  • Cover nose and mouth with a mask if you are in an infected area.

  • Avoid consumption of raw date palm sap.

  • Avoid eating fruits in infected area until source of the infection is identified.

  • Avoid visiting the endemic area until the disease is curtailed.

  • Avoid contact with the blood or body fluids of any person known to be infected with NiV.

(With inputs from FIT.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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