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.
- 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.
- 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.