Nipah Virus (NiV) Infection has taken the entire nation by storm in the recent past and is continuing to do so. It has claimed more than two dozen lives in India and new cases are being identified. Hyderabad being on the alert in the wake of the disease, we at Medisys Hospitals wish health and protection for everyone, but it is important that more and more awareness is created among people to able to identify symptoms and rush for treatment immediately.Hence, read on to understand what the disease is and how can it be prevented.
What is Nipah Virus Infection?
It is a severe disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals. The natural host of the virus are Megabats also known as the fruit bats.
In Bangladesh a lot of people were infected with NiV because they consumed date palm sap which was contaminated by infected Megabats. Since then transmission from human to human has been recorded increasingly.
What are the signs and symptoms of NiV?
Symptoms of NiV infection begin with,
- fever and headache
- muscle aches
- sore throat
- acute respiratory syndrome
- atypical pneumonia
- Followed by Encephalitis- A condition in which the brain becomes inflamed because of infection. Patients can experience disorientation, drowsiness, altered consciousness, mental confusion, and seizures that progress within 24 – 48 hours to coma and eventually to death.
What is the incubation period for the infection?
The time from initial exposure to virus to when symptoms begin (incubation period) for NiV usually vary from about 5 to 14 days. There have been cases with longer incubation periods like 45 days.
Is there a treatment for NiV?
The primary treatment at this point is supportive care only. There are no vaccines specifically available to protect humans. Severe respiratory and neurologic complications are recommended Intensive supportive care.
How can the disease be prevented?
Currently, raising awareness about the risk factors among people and educating them about the preventive measures they could take to keep the infection at bay is what we should focus on to prevent the infection.
Listed below are a few things we must focus on while creating awareness:
- Reducing the risk of bat-to-human transmission: minimizing access of bats to date palm sap and to other fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh date palm juice should be boiled and fruits should be thoroughly washed and peeled before consumption.
- Reducing the risk of animal-to-human transmission: Gloves and other protective garments should be worn while handling sick animals or their tissues,during slaughtering and culling procedures to avoid transmission.
- Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission: Unprotected physical contact with people infected by Nipah virus should be avoided. Regular sanitizing should be carried out after caring for or visiting sick people.
- Controlling nosocomial transmission: Hospital staff taking care of patients with suspected or confirmed NiV infection, or handling their specimens, should take extra precautionary measures to prevent infection.
It is advised that if you notice symptoms that direct towards the infection, you should immediately see a trusted medical professional. We at Medisys are prompt at responding to casualties and emergencies especially pertaining to Nipah Virus.
About the Hospital:
Medisys Hospitals is a growing super speciality hospital in Hyderabad that represents the vision and mission of a group of highly qualified and experienced veteran medical professionals. Started in June 2016, it is a 200-bedded hospital with all medical and surgical specialities available. We rely on our in-house state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities to provide high level care for our patients.