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Nipah Virus Infection - Dr Vivek Baliga Review For Patients
Nipah Virus Infection - A Brief
Dr Vivek Baliga B
● Nipah virus is currently making headlines
● Killed 10 people in state of Kerala, affecting many more
● Here we will look at
○ What it is
○ How it is spread
○ What are the symptoms?
○ How can it be treated?
○ Can it be prevented?
A Little History
● Not a new virus
● Class of paramyxovirus
● Natural Host - Fruit Bat
● Can infect - pigs and humans
● First outbreak - Malaysia and Singapore - 1999
○ Fruit bats would drop infected pieces of mango into pig pens
○ Pigs would consume these fruit pieces and develop serious chest infections
○ Humans would eat these pigs and get infected.
● Regular occurrence in Bangladesh
● Recent outbreak in Kerala
● Source - Date palm sap (uncooked)
● Bats infect date palm sap with urine,
saliva and feces (full of virus)
● Ingested by humans without cooking -
leads to infections.
● Spreads between humans through
● 5 - 14 days to develop symptoms after virus enters
● Progress to drowsiness and coma due to a brain inflammation called
● End stage - death
● In Malaysia, out of 300 affected, 100 died
● 10 people died in Kerala so far
● Mostly through clinical presentation
● No specific tests
● RT-PCR test has been used on throat swabs, urine etc
● ELISA test to detect antibodies IgM could aid diagnosis
THERE IS NO BEST TEST AS SUCH.
● Supportive only - treat fever, dehydration etc
● No specific antiviral treatments available
● Research molecule ribavirin - no human trials so far
● Best way is to prevent exposure to date palm sap and bats
● Nothing effective yet
● Immunisation using monoclonal antibodies has been shown to work in
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