What is Nipah?
Nipah falls under the category of Zoonotic diseases like Ebola, HIV, mad cow disease and rabies, which can spread from animals to humans.
When and where did it first occur?
Nipah was added to the list of Zonotic diseases in 1998-99 when there was an outbreak of an unknown illness in the Malaysian village of Sungai Nipah. Hence, the disease “Nipah” got its name from the village it first broke into.
What is the carrier of the disease?
The virus, which causes the disease, is commonly found in various species of fruit bats, considered carriers of the disease.
How widespread is Nipah?
Because of the widespread dispersion of the bat species Pteropodidae across the globe, Nipah outbreaks have been observed in countries including Australia, Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Thailand, Iran, Madagascar and most of the Africa.
What is Nipah’s history in India?
Two outbreaks have occurred earlier in eastern India and many in Bangladesh, but the recent outbreak in Kerala claiming at least 10 deaths is a cause of concern.
What are the symptoms of Nipah?
Nipah is a notorious disease as it has symptoms fitting several other diseases, and can be positively identified by sophisticated lab studies. It has a wide range of effects, from flu-like symptoms to severe fever, breathing issues and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
How Nipah is contracted?
Nipah can be contracted by direct contact with the food contaminated by infected animals or by direct contact with an infected human being.
How dangerous is Nipah?
Nipah is fatal in a large number of case and has a fatality rate between 40-75% according to the WHO. According to a research conducted in Bangladesh, it had a fatality rate of 54%, i.e. 315 deaths occurred out of the 582 cases studied.
What’s the treatment for Nipah?
There is no specific treatment beyond supportive care treating the symptoms of the disease and keeping the patient hydrated. There is also no specific vaccine for the disease.
What are the necessary precautions?
In the absence of vaccines, isolating and restricting the movement those infected and avoidance of the potentially contaminated sites and food is recommended.