Nipah: The Jumping Virus
Dr. Anuradha Sharma,
404, 4th Floor, Microbiology Faculty of Dentistry Jamia Millia Islamia, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi-110025, India.
|Nipah virus (NiV), infection is an emerging zoonosis with a high mortality rate, and severe neurological and respiratory involvement in humans. NiV, a Paramyxovirus belonging to the genus Henipavirus is highly pathogenic and has a mortality rate which varies from 40-100%. It is pleomorphic, spherical to filamentous, ranging in size from 40 to 1,900 nm with a single layer of surface projections. The first epidemic of NiV infection took place in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia whereafter it has spread to Singapore (1999), Bangladesh (2000), West Bengal (Siliguri, 2001 and Nadia, 2007) and Kerala (Kozhikode 2018 and Ernakulam, June 2019) in India. Two lineages of Nipah virus, NiV Malaysia (NiV-MY) and NiV Bangladesh (NiV-BD) have been isolated from humans. Transmission occurs through contact with pigs or related with intake of contaminated date palm sap and human-to-human transmission. Pteropid giganteus, the giant fruit bats, are the natural reservoirs and horses and pigs are the amplifying host of NiV. The virus is shed in the urine and saliva of bats, and in the respiratory secretions of horses, pigs and humans. The symptoms are fever, headache and altered level of consciousness. NiV is a pathogen with high virulence. It can be transmitted from animals to humans and then from humans to humans. It not only causes high mortality and morbidity but also spreads panic in the society. NiV has been listed as a category C agent for bioterrorism. There are no effective therapeutic measures to be taken in the event of any outbreak. Hence, timely detection, early diagnosis of cases, preventive measures and supportive care are the mainstays in its management.|
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