Nipah Virus Infection: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment & More

The cases of the Nipah virus in Kerala have been rising. Know the causes, symptoms and more about the infection

2 min read
Hindi Female

Two deaths have been reported due to the Nipah virus and four more cases are suspected in Kerala’s Kozhikode district. Health authorities have alarmed the people living in the area. Doctors and health workers have been asked to collect samples and send them to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) for confirmation.

Nipah virus (NiV) is a zoonotic virus that spreads between animals and people. It spreads mainly through fruit bats but can also spread through different animals like pigs, goats, horses, dogs, or cats.

The only way one can avoid infection from the Nipah virus is by avoiding any exposure to sick animals (especially bats and pigs). This will also require people to avoid food derived from that infected animal since it can contaminate raw date palm sap or fruit. The virus can also spread from person to person through bodily fluids thus one should be careful when coming in close contact with an infected person.


Nipah Virus: Symptoms

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the Initial symptoms of the Nipah virus may include:

  • Fever.

  • Headache.

  • Breathing difficulties.

  • Cough and sore throat.

  • Diarrhea.

  • Vomiting.

  • Muscle pain and severe weakness

  • Confusion and disorientation.

  • Slurring speech.

  • Seizures.

  • Coma.

  • Respiratory distress.

Nipah Virus: Transmission 

According to the Mayo Clinic, the virus spreads when:

  • People or animals come in contact with the bodily fluids (blood, poop, pee, or saliva) of an infected animal.

  • People eat foods contaminated by an infected animal.

  • People come in close contact with a person who has the Nipah virus. This happens usually while caring for them.

Nipah Virus: Incubation Period

Nipah Virus Infection is associated with encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). The incubation period of the infection is 5 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms appear within 3-14 days of fever and headache. The other symptoms that follow include drowsiness, disorientation, and mental confusion.

What Is the First Symptoms Of Nipah Virus?

Research proves that symptoms of Nipah Virus infection appear within 3-14 days of fever and headache that is then followed by drowsiness, disorientation, and mental confusion.

How Is Nipah Virus Diagnosed?

A healthcare provider may review your symptoms and discuss any recent travel to areas where the Nipah virus is common. During the first stages of infection, a real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test is performed to confirm the Nipah virus. This test uses the following bodily fluids for diagnosis:

  • Nasal or throat swabs.

  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

  • Urine samples.

  • Blood samples.

Can Nipah Virus Be Cured?

There are no vaccines or medications to cure Nipah Virus.

How Is Nipah Virus Controlled?

The treatment for the virus includes managing the symptoms and the tips can help control the virus:

  • Drink lots of water.

  • Get plenty of rest.

  • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

  • Take medicines for nausea or vomiting.

  • Use inhalers or nebulizers to promote better breathing.

  • Take antiseizure medications in case of a seizure.

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Topics:  Nipah Virus 

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