What is NIPAH?

What is NIPAH?

It is a viral infection causing encephalitis. Most prevalent in South East Asia, first found in Malaysia. India's earlier outbreak was in West Bengal (2001/2007)

How does Nipah spread?

This virus spreads through infected bats (especially fruit bats), pigs and other Nipah infected people.

The Virus is present in saliva, urine, faeces and fruits contaminated by the bats.

People at risk of Nipah

Close contact with infected pigs.

Consumption of fruits/date palms contaminated with bats.

People in close contact with infected individuals.

Signs/Symptoms

Incubation period of 5-14 days.

Illness present with 3-14 days of fever/ head ache followed by drowsiness, disorientation & mental confusion comes with 24-48 hours.

50% of patient will show severe neurological / respiratory symptoms.

Treatment

Symptomatic/Supportive care.

Prevention/ Precautions

  • Avoid exposure to sick pigs.
  • Fruit bitten by bats/ birds should not be eaten.
  • Fruits & vegetables should be washed properly.
  • Precautions while handling laboratory samples.
  • Personal protective equipment must be used.
  • Hand hygiene must be followed.
  • Strict personal hygiene.

Article by Dr.J. Raghav Raj
Resident, Internal Medicine
Kauvery Hospital

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