Nipah virus was initially discovered when it caused an outbreak of brain fever among pig farmers in Malaysia.

Q : Should I be worried ?

A : A little. As it is transmitted from person to person and there is no effective antiviral therapy for this infection .

Q : Who is at high risk ? How is it transmitted ?

  • People working with pigs and consuming pigs.
  • Farmers who come in contact with bats.
  • Consuming Fruits which are already bitten by bat.
  • Contact with people who already have Nipah virus infection.

Q : What are the early symptoms ?

A : The initial presentation is non-specific, characterized by the sudden onset of fever, headache, muscle pain , nausea and vomiting. Neck rigidity and photophobia are also seen.

The disease rapidly progresses, with deterioration in consciousness leading to coma within five to seven days.

Q : How is it diagnosed ?

A : The rdiagnosis is by ELISA which is currently done at National institute of Virology, Pune.

Q : How is it treated ?

A : Supportive care is the mainstay of treatment and infected patients may require intensive care monitoring.

THERE IS NO APPROVED SPECIFIC THERAPY FOR THIS INFECTION . So prevention is the only cure !

Q : How do i prevent it ?

  • Avoid contact with pigs and pig handlers .
  • Maintain personal hygeine and intensive hand washing practices
  • Avoid consuming raw fruits, Consume only well cooked, clean, home made food till the outbreak settles down.
  • Preferably use N95 mask while travelling or working in public places to avoid person to person transmission.
  • Be aware of the symptoms and consult nearsest doctor immediately for early diagnosis and treatment.

Share this message with all your cared ones ,Together, we can fight and win !

Dr.Arjun.M.B, MD
Dr.R.M.L Hospital, New Delhi.
(National Nodal Centre for Control of yellow fever and other communicable diseases)