Clinical symptoms found in individuals who got the Nipah infection in Kozhikode, where two individuals have died and four others are going through treatment, are different this time from the complications seen in past outbreaks, said the specialist leading the group treating the four patients.

All the cases seen this year mainly show symptoms of respiratory infection, according to Dr A S Anoop Kumar, the director of critical care medicine at Aster MIMS hospital in Kozhikode, During the rainy season, he stated, many people contract viral fever and influenza, which share similar symptoms, making early diagnosis of the virus difficult. Let’s get to the details of this virus. 


What is the Nipah virus? 

According to WHO, Nipah virus (NiV) is an emerging zoonotic paramyxovirus that infects humans and pigs and causes severe, often fatal disease. The infection is carried by fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family and was first distinguished during an outbreak of the illness in 1998 reaching out to 1999 in Malaysia and Singapore.

Normally, human infection presents as an encephalitic condition marked by fever, headache, mental confusion, drowsiness, disorientation, coma, and possibly death. Typically, symptoms appear five to fourteen days after Nipah virus exposure.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Nipah infection?

The infection results in no conspicuous symptoms, infecting individuals and staying dormant until severe complications start to emerge.

The Nipah Virus can be contracted by people without giving any indications of symptoms that the people have been infected. The specialists, however, encourage to pay special attention to the these signs:

Fever and headache, sore throat, vomiting, myalgia (muscle aches), dizziness or potentially intense respiratory disorder or abnormal pneumonia.


How is the virus discovered?

Nipah infection can be determined through clinical history during the intense and convalescent period of the illness. The principal tests utilised are antibody detection via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from bodily liquids. 

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay and virus isolation via cell culture are two additional tests utilized.

Is there a cure to this infection?

There are currently no drugs or vaccines approved for humans yet, according to WHO. However, the studies in small-animal models of NiV infection seem to point to a promising treatment. 

The Nipah virus cannot be cured. Rather, individuals who are infected are treated with serious supportive care, which incorporates ensuring the individual stays hydrated, and treating any sickness or vomiting alongside encephalitis or respiratory problems.

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