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A boy infected with the Nipah virus has died in Kerala, a state already hit badly by Covid-19
About Nipah Virus(NiV) (Scientific name-Nipah henipavirus)
- It is a type of RNA zoonotic virus (it is transmitted from animals to humans) and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly between people.
- It is a member of the family Paramyxoviridae.
- Given that NiV is genetically related to Hendra virus, another henipavirus known to be carried by bats.
- The animal host reservoir for NiV is the fruit bat (genus Pteropus), also known as the flying fox.
- Direct contact with infected animals, such as bats or pigs, or their body fluids (such as blood, urine or saliva)
- Consuming food products that have been contaminated by body fluids of infected animals (such as palm sap or fruit contaminated by an infected bat)
- Close contact with a person infected with NiV or their body fluids (including nasal or respiratory droplets, urine, or blood)
- In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis.
- The virus can also cause severe disease in animals such as pigs, resulting in significant economic losses for farmers.
- Nipah virus infection can be diagnosed with clinical history during the acute and convalescent phase of the disease.
- The main tests used are real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from bodily fluids and antibody detection via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
- Other tests used include polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, and virus isolation by cell culture.
- There are currently no drugs or vaccines specific for Nipah virus infection although WHO has identified Nipah as a priority disease for the WHO Research and Development Blueprint.
- Intensive supportive care is recommended to treat severe respiratory and neurologic complications.
- 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.
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