Nipah Virus Infection: Overview, Transmission, Symptoms & Prevention

Vaibhav Saxena

, Health A2Z

Everyone must have heard of the spread of this fatal virus in Kerala region of India. This infection has been acquiring many people from past times so, read below about every aspect of Nipah virus infection or NiV infection and try keeping yourself a mile away from it.


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What is Nipah Virus?

It was initially recognized in 1998 in Peninsular Malaysia region, where it caused an outbreak of respiratory and neurological ailments in pig farms.


The bats are considered to be the transmitters of this virus into pig farms. The virus has also affected other species of animals like dogs, cats, horses, and human beings.


Nipah Virus generally termed as NiV, is a genus of RNA (Ribonucleic Acid Virus), of the family Paramyxoviridae. This virus is also closely related to Hendra Virus.


The fruit bat of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus is considered to be the major host of this virus.




How is Nipah Virus Transmitted?

Nipah Virus, a zoonotic disease, is proven to be transmitted from fruit bats or flying foxes, of the genus Pteropus to farm animals like pigs, horses, dogs and human beings in recent outbreaks.


The reservoir host, fruit bats carry the virus in their urine, feces, birthing fluids or saliva.


Presumably, humans got infected through pigs or other farm animals by getting this virus stick onto their clothes, boots or hands in former outbreaks of Malaysia (1998), Singapore (1999), Bangladesh and India ( since 2001).


In case of India and Bangladesh outbreak, it was identified as a human to human transmission as well and cases of encephalitis have emerged.


The scientists proclaim the Bangladesh strain of NiV to be responsible for the recent spread of the virus in Kerala, India. Humans rea acquiring this disease by consuming contaminated fruits like banana and palm in Bangladesh and India.


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What are the Symptoms of Nipah Virus Infection?

NiV infection is a fatal disease that has caused disasters and stressful outbreaks in many eastern countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, and India.


Nipah Virus Infection shows some clear symptoms whereas shows asymptomatic nature as well. However, the symptoms are clear within 3-14 days of exposure to the infection in Humans and other animals. In Malaysian outbreak, almost every infected person died due to unawareness of this infection.


Some common recognizable symptoms are:

  • A headache
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Drowsiness
  • Respiratory troubles


All of the aforementioned symptoms point out towards the one major ailment caused by this infection, that is an encephalitic syndrome (inflammation of the brain). Also, a person can be broken out into a coma within 2 days.




What are the Prevention Measures For Nipah Virus Infection?

As we discussed, NiV can be spread from one human to another as well as by eating partially eaten and contaminated fruits.


This infection is like a juggernaut because it spreads forcefully and is very difficult to eliminate whereas some effective and cautious prevention measures can be taken to avoid this disease.

  • Avoid exposure to bats
  • Avoid physical contact with infected animals
  • Avoid close (unprotected) physical contact with infected people
  • Wear NH95-grade and higher masks
  • Wash hands regularly with soap
  • Avoid consuming partially eaten fruits or unpasteurized fruit juices
  • Properly wash the fruits before consuming
  • Stay hygienic


In case of protecting farm and pet animals like pigs, dogs, monkeys, cats and horses which are more likely to be exposed to this virus, one must build wires cage or indoor shelter to keep them away from contact with bats or contamination. Awareness and precautions are the best way to avoid this infection from acquiring you.




What are the Treatments of Nipah Virus Infection?

The core reason behind this infection to be considered this fatal and hazardous is that there are no vaccinations or drug available to find to cure or immunity against this infection.


People are likely to make full recovery in case of suffering from acute encephalitis. Whereas, patients may acquire some neurological conditions like seizure disorder and personality changes.


Hence, there is no such treatment considered to be effective in case of NiV infection apart from self-care so try staying cautious by applying all the prevention measure in your daily routine and keeping yourself and relatives, especially children and animals under surveillance.





Nipah Virus Infection has been bouncing from one place to another in past many years while leaving calamities behind.


As there are no such treatments available, so staying aware and cautious of this virus and trying all prevention measure is the only possible solution to be healthy and protected from this deadly virus.



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