NIPAH VIRUS INFECTION: BE INFORMED, BE SAFE - Blog Aster Medcity

NIPAH VIRUS INFECTION: BE INFORMED, BE SAFE

Dr. Anup R Warrier, Consultant - Infectious Diseases & Infection Control

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What is Nipah Virus Infection?

  • The Nipah Virus (NiV) is a member of the family Paramyxoviridae - genus Henipavirus
  • Niphah is an enveloped single stranded RNA Virus that can cause Encephalitis or inflammation of the brain
  • Mortality rate of Nipah virus infection is 50 - 70%

How Does Nipah Virus Spread?

  • Direct contact with infected bats, pigs (saliva, excreta)
  • Direct contact with Nipah virus infected people
  • Consumption of raw date palm sap contaminated with infectious bat excretions

What are the signs and symptoms of Nipah infection?

  • Incubation period of Nipah Virus ranges from 5 - 14 days
  • The illness presents in 3-14 days with fever and headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Respiratory illness / cough
  • Neurological signs - disorientation and mental confusion
  • Convulsions; personality changes
  • Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
  • The symptoms can progress to coma within 24 - 48 hours

What are the precautions that need to be taken to prevent Nipah infection?

  • Do not eat fruits that have been bitten / half-eaten by bats, birds or animals
  • Prevent any contact with bat excreta, including using water from wells contaminated by bats
  • Avoid consuming Toddy collected in open containers in areas with large bat population
  • Avoid close contact with domestic animals
  • Use gloves and personal protection while handling excreta of domestic animals.
  • Consume only cooked food, avoid raw fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid close contact with patients with confirmed Nipah virus infection
  • Do not share clothes, bed linen, towels or utensils with infected persons
  • Keep a minimum distance of 1 meter (one arm’s distance) and use personal mask while visiting patients in hospitals.
  • After visiting patients, wash hands with soap and water before eating
  • Use hand sanitizer to disinfect hands
  • Avoid touching people who died of Nipah virus infection during cremation