Belonging to the member of the Paramyxoviridae family, the Nipah virus is transmitted to humans through animals such as pigs and bats. The life-threatening virus was discovered in the year 1999 in Malaysia. The fatality rate due to the onset of Nipah infection is 40 to 75 per cent, says WHO. According to global public health officials, the Nipah virus is an emerging threat to people especially belong to the people of South and South East Asia.
Notably, even after 20 years years of the discovery of the virus, researchers have not been able to develop a drug or vaccine against the infection. Nipah virus is known to remain in the incubation period in a human body for 5 to 14 days and then causes inflammation of the brain. The infection is characterized by symptoms including headaches, drowsiness, mental confusion, and disorientation. And, the most shocking thing about Nipah virus infection is that it can progress to coma within 24 to 48 hours.
Coming in close contact with the infected pig, bat or consuming raw date palm can increase your risk of developing Nipah virus infection. An infected person may experience high fever, muscle ache, sore throat, vomiting, etc. As far as diagnosis of Nipah virus infection is concerned, health care professionals usually perform RT-PCR or ELISA tests to confirm the infection.
Sadly, there is no particular treatment option available for Nipah infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, supportive care may provide some help in this regard. Some researchers also believe that antiviral drugs named ribavirin may also be useful. Usually, people affected by the Nipah virus do not live longer and those who do survive, gradually develop relapse or onset of encephalitis.