Nipah Virus Infection | Symptoms | Causes | Prevention | Diagnosis | Treatment

Nipah virus (NiV) Infection  is a newly emerging zoonosis that causes severe disease in both animals and humans. The natural host of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus.  It first appeared in domestic pigs and has been found among several species of domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep. The infection is also known to affect human beings.


Nipah Virus

The organism which causes Nipah Virus encephalitis is an RNA or Ribonucleic acid virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus, and is closely related to Hendra virus.

Nipah virus infection gets its name from the village in Malaysia where the person from whom the virus was first isolated succumbed to the disease. The virus has been listed in the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Terrestrial Animal Health Code and must be reported to the OIE (OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code).

  • Symptoms

The human infection presents as an encephalitic syndrome marked by fever, headache, drowsiness, disorientation, mental confusion, coma, and potentially death.
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Disorientation
  • Mental confusion
  • Coma
  • Causes

Diagramatic representation Of Nipah virus causes.
  • Fruit bats, also known as‘flying foxes,’ of the genus Pteropus are natural reservoir hosts of the Nipah virus. The virus is present
    in bat urine and potentially, bat feces, saliva, and birthing fluids.
  •  It first appeared in domestic pigs.
  • It has also been found among several species of domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep.
  • Prevention

    • Avoid exposure to sick pigs and bats in endemic areas.
    • Do not drink raw date palm sap.
    • Additional efforts focused on surveillance and awareness will help prevent future outbreaks.
  •  Diagnosis

Image result for nipah virus

  • Diagnosis can be made during the acute and convalescent phases of the disease by using a combination of tests.
  • Virus isolation attempts and real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from throat and nasal swabs, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, and blood should be performed in the early stages of disease.
  •  Antibody detection by ELISA (IgG and IgM) can be used later on.
  • In fatal cases, immunohistochemistry on tissues collected during autopsy may be the only way to confirm a diagnosis.
  • Treatment

    • Treatment is limited to supportive care as Nipah virus encephalitis can be transmitted person-to-person, standard infection control practices and proper barrier nursing techniques are important in preventing hospital-acquired infections (nosocomial transmission).
    • Passive immunization using a human monoclonal antibody targeting the Nipah G glycoprotein has been evaluated in the post-exposure therapy in the ferret model and found to be of benefit.