- The numbers of suspected Nipah virus infection cases in Kerala has risen to 7. Samples from the patients have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) labs at Alappuzha and Pune.
- The National Institute of Virology is an Indian virology research institute. It was previously known as ‘Virus Research Center’ and was founded in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation. It has been designated as a WHO H5 reference Laboratory for SE Asia region
- According to WHO, the Nipah virus infection is a newly emerging zoonosis, that is, a disease transmitted from animals to humans. The virus belongs to a genus termed Henipavirus (subfamily Paramyxovirinae).
- Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are the natural host of Nipah virus. The virus is present in bat urine, and potentially in bat faeces, saliva and birthing fluid. Fruits contaminated with bat secretions may potentially transfer the virus.
- Humans are infected after direct contact with infected bats, pigs or from other Nipah-virus infected persons.
- Nipah virus infection in humans causes asymptomatic infection, acute respiratory infection and fatal encephalitis. It has a high case fatality rate estimated to range between 40 and 75%
- There is no treatment or vaccine available for either people or animals. The primary treatment for humans is supportive care.
6 min read