NIPAH VIRUS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci & Tech - Diseases)

News-CRUX-10     12th September 2023        
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Context: Recently, the Kerala Health Department issued an alert in the Kozhikode district after two deaths were suspected to be due to the Nipah Virus.

Nipah Virus (NIV)

  • About: It is a zoonotic virus, meaning it can be transmitted from animals to humans.
  • Responsible for Nipah Virus encephalitis: RNA virus belonging to the Paramyxoviridae family, Henipavirus genus, and is closely related to the Hendra virus.
  • Initial occurrence of the outbreak: Malaysia (1998) and Singapore (1999).
  • The estimated case fatality rate for the Nipah Virus ranges from 40% to 75%, which can vary depending on the outbreak's local epidemiological surveillance and clinical management capabilities.
  • Spread: The virus can be transmitted to humans either through contact with infected animals, consumption of contaminated food, or through direct person-to-person transmission. 
  • Carrier: Fruit bats are recognized as the natural reservoir of the virus.
  • Symptoms: Acute encephalitis and respiratory illnesses
  • Prevention: Currently, there are no vaccines for both humans and animals.
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