What is Nipah Virus?

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What is Nipah Virus? Blog Image


The Kerala health department issued a health alert in Kozhikode after two people who died due to “unnatural” deaths in the district were suspected to have been infected with the Nipah virus (NiV).

About Nipah Virus

  • Nipah virus infection is a zoonotic illness that is transmitted via animals to humans.
  • The organism which causes Nipah Virus encephalitis is an RNA or Ribonucleic acid virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus, and is closely related to Hendra virus.
  • It was first broke out in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999.
  • It first appeared in domestic pigs and has been found among several species of domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep.
  • Transmission
    • The disease spreads through fruit bats or ‘flying foxes,’ of the genus Pteropus, who are natural reservoir hosts of the Nipah and Hendra viruses.
    • The virus is present in bat urine and potentially, bat faeces, saliva, and birthing fluids.
  • Symptoms
    • Typically, the human infection presents as an encephalitic syndrome marked by fever, headache, drowsiness, disorientation, mental confusion, coma, and potentially death
  • Treatment: There is no definitive treatment available for the virus.


Q1) What is Encephalitic syndrome?

It is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the brain. This inflammation can be caused by various factors, including viral infections, autoimmune responses, and certain types of bacteria.

Source: Nipah alert sounded in Kerala after two ‘unnatural’ deaths: All you need to know.