Nipah Virus Infection: Everything You Need to Know About Henipavirus that Also Causes Encephalitis
Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus, which usually gets transmitted from animals to humans through contaminated food or direct contact between people.
After its deadly attack in Singapore, Nipah virus is forcing health practitioners to issue an alert warning on the precautious one should follow as the Nipah Virus spreads. A member of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus, Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus, which usually gets transmitted from animals to humans through contaminated food or direct contact between people.
In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis.
Causes of Nipah Virus Infection
A few of the most known causes behind the spread of Nipah Virus Infection include direct contact with infected pigs, other infected animals, or through contaminated fruits (half-eaten fruits left by fruit bats), and even direct contact with sick persons.
Signs and Symptoms of Nipah Virus (NiV) Infection
While most of the NiV Infection cases report the following symptoms, the signs may vary from person to person:
1.Asymptomatic infection or acute respiratory infection (mild, severe)
5.Myalgia (muscle pain)
11.Neurological signs to indicate acute encephalitis
In most of the cases, encephalitis and seizures occur in severe cases, progressing to coma within 24 to 48 hours. The incubation period of Nipah Virus Infection is believed to range from 4 to 14 days. However, an incubation period as long as 45 days has also been reported.
Precautions to stay away from Nipah Virus Infection
1.Take caution to ensure that food is not contaminated by bats. Do not eat fruits that may have been bitten by bats and ensure that bats don’t eat the food or drop feces on it.
2.Do not drink toddy that is brewed in open containers near palm trees.
3.Maintain a distance from the patient who is infected with Nipah Virus Infection.
4.Clothes, utensils and items typically used in the toilet or bathroom of the infected person should be cleaned separately and maintained hygienically.
5.Hands should always be kept clean using soap or alcohol hand rubs.
6.The medical staff should wear N-95 masks and should take utmost care while removing the mask and gloves after mingling with the patient.
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