Posted by : Jyothish Joshi
Date : May 24, 2018
Category : Ayurveda Treatment
The outbreak of Nipah virus has set alarm bells ringing in South India. The virus has already killed ten people in Kerala. Suspected Nipah cases have been reported from neighboring Mangalore as well.
The virus has been named after Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia, where it caused an outbreak of brain fever among pig farmers in 1998. The pigs were the hosts of this virus. During that outbreak, more than 100 people died and around 300 were
infected. The authorities euthanized over one million pigs in order to stop the outbreak. Bangladesh and India kept witnessing the outbreaks since then, with the former suffering from the virus outbreak almost every year.
The virus is spread to humans who have direct contact with infected animals such as pigs or fruit bats. It can also be spread human-to-human, mostly between family and caregivers of patients.
The Nipah virus is a relatively new virus suspected to be spread by fruit bats and pigs. It is deadly and highly contagious, with the death rate estimated to be around 75%. When a person is infected with the Nipah virus, he or she experiences encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. It normally takes almost two weeks for symptoms to emerge, which include fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting. Neck rigidity and photophobia are also noticed. The disease can rapidly progress, with sudden decline in consciousness leading to coma within a week or so. The long-term side-effects among survivors can include personality changes, convulsions, etc. Supportive care is the mainstay of treatment, which includes ensuring the person stays hydrated, and treating any nausea or vomiting.
According to the WHO, Nipah infection in humans has a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory syndrome and fatal encephalitis. The virus is also capable of “causing disease in pigs and other domestic animals. There is no vaccine for either humans or animals. The primary treatment is intensive supportive care.”
The worrying factor is that is can be transmitted from person to person and there is no effective antiviral therapy for this infection. Health experts say that the following are the possibilities for the spread of this virus:
Author: Jyothish Joshi
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