Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus ie it is transmitted from animals to humans and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly between people.
Flying foxes have been identified as the reservoir host of Nipha Virus. This often happens in the form of urine, feces, or masticated fruit covered in the flying fox's saliva.
Nipah virus was first recognized in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers in, Malaysia. No new outbreaks have been reported in Malaysia since 1999.
It was also recognized in Bangladesh in 2001, and nearly annual outbreaks have occurred in that country since. The disease has also been identified periodically in eastern India.
Nipah virus spread directly from human-to-human through close contact with people's secretions and excretions.
Infected people initially develop symptoms including fever, headaches,muscle pain, vomiting and sore throat. This can be followed by dizziness, drowsiness, altered consciousness, and neurological signs that indicate acute encephalitis. Some people can also experience atypical pneumonia and severe respiratory problems, including acute respiratory distress. Encephalitis and seizures occur in severe cases, progressing to coma within 24 to 48 hours.
The incubation period is believed to range from 4 to 14 days.
Currently, there are no vaccines available against Nipah virus.In the absence of a vaccine, the only way to reduce or prevent infection in people is by raising awareness of the risk factors and educating people about the measures they can take to reduce exposure to the Nipah virus.
Fruitsand Vegitables should be thoroughly washed and peeled before consumption. Fruitsand vegitables with sign of bat bites should be discarded.
Close unprotected physical contact with Nipah virus-infected people should be avoided. Regular hand washing should be carried out after caring for or visiting sick people.