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What You Need to Know About the Nipah Virus Symptoms, Treatment, and WHO Guidance

Nipah Virus Symptoms Outbreak in Kerala’s Kozhikode: Educational Facilities Closed Until September 24 Due to the outbreak of the Nipah virus in Kerala’s Kozhikode district, educational facilities, including schools, professional colleges, and tuition centers, will remain closed until September 24. To ensure uninterrupted learning, online classes will continue during this period, as announced by the district administration.

Growing List of Contacts

According to Kerala’s Health Minister, Veena George, the list of individuals who have had contact with infected persons is steadily increasing. Recent updates indicate that this list now includes over a thousand names. What’s concerning is that among these individuals, 327 are healthcare workers.

Contacts from Other Districts

Additionally, 29 people from other districts are on the contact list of those infected with the Nipah virus. The majority of them are from Malappuram (22), with three each from Kannur and Thrissur, and one case in Wayanad.

Risk Assessment

The Health Minister stressed that out of the people categorized as high risk, 122 are healthcare professionals. This places them at a higher risk compared to 175 non-healthcare individuals also classified as high-risk contacts.

Understanding the Nipah Virus Symptoms

Nipah Virus Symptoms

The Nipah virus is a highly concerning pathogen that can cause a range of symptoms, from mild respiratory issues to fatal encephalitis, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It can be transmitted from animals like bats or pigs and even from human to human. Unfortunately, there are currently no vaccines or specific treatments available, with supportive care being the primary approach.

Nipah Virus Symptoms

For those who contract the virus, initial symptoms may include fever, headaches, muscle pain, vomiting, and a sore throat. In more advanced stages, severe respiratory problems, encephalitis, seizures, and even coma can develop within 24 to 48 hours.

The incubation period for the virus can vary from four to 14 days, with the possibility of extending up to 45 days. While most survivors recover fully from acute encephalitis, approximately 20% may experience lingering neurological issues such as seizures and personality changes, as noted by WHO.

Treatment and Research

Currently, there are no specific medications or vaccines available for treating Nipah virus infection. Despite this, the WHO has identified Nipah as a disease of priority in their Research and Development Blueprint. For severe respiratory and neurological issues caused by the virus, intensive supportive care is the recommended treatment approach.

Read more about nipha virus

Nipah virus infection is a zoonotic sickness that can be transferred to humans by animals, contaminated food, or directly from person to person. It causes a variety of symptoms in infected humans, ranging from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to severe respiratory sickness and deadly encephalitis. The virus can also cause serious sickness in animals such as pigs, causing producers to incur large financial losses.

Although there have only been a few reported outbreaks of Nipah virus in Asia, it infects a wide range of animals and causes serious sickness and death in humans.
During the first known epidemic in Malaysia, which also impacted Singapore, the majority of human infections were caused by direct contact with ill pigs or their offspring.
Tissue contamination. Transmission is suspected to have happened by unprotected exposure to pig fluids or unprotected contact with diseased animal tissue.

Human-to-human transmission of the Nipah virus has also been recorded among infected patients’ families and carers.

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