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What exactly is the Nipah virus, and how does it compare to COVID-19?
27 Jan' 21

What exactly is the Nipah virus, and how does it compare to COVID-19?

 


Kerala is now fighting two separate viral epidemics. The number of coronavirus cases is on the rise, as is the current Nipah virus outbreak. Even though these viruses appear to be identical, they differ in several ways.

On Sunday, a 12-year-old boy in Kerala died of the Nipah virus. According to Kerala's Health Minister, Veena George, 11 people who came into contact with Nipah sufferers had developed symptoms of the disease. 

Here's everything you need to know about the Nipah virus, including what it is, how it spreads, how dangerous it is, and more.

 

What is the Nipah virus?

 

The Nipah virus was initially discovered in Malaysia in 1990. It was initially discovered in India in 2001 in Siliguri, West Bengal, where 45 people died as a result of it. In 2018, the Nipah virus was reported in Kerala. The virus has a fatality rate of 40-80 percent and a two-week incubation period, which is concerning. 

Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus that is spread from animals to humans.

 

It can also be spread through contaminated food or directly between people. Fruit bats are to blame. Infected individuals may experience severe symptoms such as acute respiratory disease and deadly encephalitis. 

It's not an airborne infection, although it can be passed from person to person.


Common symptoms of Nipah virus 

 

Symptoms of the Nipah virus infection are similar to those of the COVID-19 infection. Cough, sore throat, dizziness, drowsiness, muscle soreness, exhaustion, and swelling of the brain (encephalitis), which can cause headaches, stiff necks, mental disorientation, seizures, and light sensitivity, are some of the most prevalent symptoms. A person may also go unconscious, which can result in death.


Also read Can the Flu and Dengue fever outbreaks have an impact on the third COVID wave?

 

Treatment 

 

The virus has yet to be identified as having a therapy. If you notice the symptoms, you should see a doctor very away, who will confirm the diagnosis using RT-PCR, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, and blood tests. Antibody testing is done later after the patient has recovered. The doctor may prescribe medications to treat encephalitis and other symptoms. Self-medicating is not recommended because it increases the risk of complications and worsens the illness.

 

Precautions 

 

Avoid contact with infected animals and humans by not eating fruits that have fallen to the ground. To yet, no vaccination has been developed to tackle the virus. Fruit bats should be kept at a distance, and stray animals should not be touched or approached.

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