Nipah Virus

  • IASbaba
  • September 6, 2021
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Nipah Virus

Part of: Prelims and GS – III- Health & Diseases

Context: After a gap of over three years, a case of the zoonotic Nipah virus infection was reported in Kerala, with the death of a 12-year-old boy at a private hospital.

About Nipah Virus

  • The first outbreaks of the Nipah virus among humans was reported from Malaysia (1998) and Singapore (1999). 
  • The virus takes its name from the village in Malaysia where the person in whom the virus was first isolated died of the disease.
  • It is a zoonotic virus, meaning it has been transmitted from animals to human beings. 
  • Fruit bats, commonly known as flying fox, are considered to be a natural reservoir of the virus. Fruit bats are known to transmit this virus to other animals like pigs, and also dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep.
  • Humans get infected mainly through direct contact with these animals. The virus can also be passed on through food contaminated by saliva or urine of these infected animals or directly from person-to-person. 
  • Symptoms include acute encephalitis and respiratory illnesses.
  • The Nipah virus is known to spread far more slowly than SARS-CoV-2. However, it is its ability to kill that is the biggest concern

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