Causes, Symptoms And Treatment of Nipah Virus
In India as a whole, the current NIPAH outbreak in Kerala has caused grave health worries. Two cases of fatalities caused by an unidentified virus were reported in Kozhikode, Kerala, in September 2023, leading to the discovery of the current outbreak, the most recent of the four NIPAH Virus outbreaks that have occurred since 2018. High death rates are linked to the viral infection, which has a tendency to become very serious very fast. Given the virus’s nature, we must take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones and always have a home doctor visit plan so that our elderly people could be attended by doctors at home.
What is Nipah Virus?
The nipah virus is a zoonotic virus that affects animals in Southeast Asia and Northeast Africa, including pigs, flying foxes, and wild fruit bats. Humans can contract the virus by coming into close touch with the bodily fluids of infected animals, including their saliva, blood, urine, perspiration, and even the fruits and sap they ingest. It is highly contagious to other humans once it has infected them and can be spread by saliva, vomit, urine, and other bodily fluids. Family members and carers are the most likely candidates for infections.
The virus has extremely high morbidity rates; according to WHO, an infected person’s fatality rate ranges from 40 to 75%. On the first or second day after infection, the virus can put a person in a coma since it is known to induce encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. The healthcare system ultimately relies on supportive measures for care and treatment because there is currently no known treatment protocol or preventative vaccine for Nipah virus.
Signs and symptoms of NIPAH virus infection
The symptoms that the virus produces vary from person to person and range from no symptoms to severe illness and encephalitis. However, among the symptoms infected people frequently show are Fever, Myalgia or body pains, Dizziness, Headache, Breathlessness, Drowsiness and altered consciousness, Vomiting, Sore throat and Seizures in more severe cases.
Complicated situations can include encephalitis, coma, respiratory distress, and pneumonia. Early intervention in the treatment process can help patients move closer to recovery. Some brain infection patients will remain disabled for the rest of their lives due to lingering symptoms and neurological impairments. If someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms and you have recently travelled to Kerala or live in Kerala, you should immediately take precautions, isolate the person, and notify the local health authorities.
Diagnosis and Treatment
The Nipah virus can be identified based on the signs and symptoms, a history of travel to an area where the virus has been contained, contact with bats or pigs, or proximity to someone who has the virus and is exhibiting those symptoms. Testing of nasal, throat, and other bodily fluid samples of the likely cause of Nipah Virus infection is done in the mobile level 3 biosafety laboratories of the ICMR stationed in Kerala, India, to confirm the diagnosis of the NIPAH virus.
As far as the treatment is concerned, there is no particular treatment for Nipah Virus infection in humans. Instead of isolating the patient, supportive care can only be provided in the form of rest, oxygen therapy, intravenous fluids, anti-fever drugs, and other supportive measures at home by booking a doctor on call Ahmedabad.
Additionally, the use of monoclonal antibodies, immunological proteins similar to those present in humans and created in response to any illness that occurs in the body and is specific to that infection, has grown for the most recent outbreaks.