Precautionary Measures Against Nipah VirusBy Prachi Priya - 28 May 2018
Nipah Virus or the NiV infection is an infectious disease that causes illness in animals and humans. It spreads from infected fruit bats, pigs as well as infected people. The virus is believed to be transmitted from bats to livestock, and then to humans and is an airborne transmission infection.
Eating fruits that are infected by fruit bats is said to be the reason why humans are getting infected. The virus was first identified in 1998 in Malaysia. Humans get affected from it as they came in contact with pig feces and excretions. The virus has also been found in domestic animals like dogs, cats, goats, horses etc as they come in contact with pigs.
Its symptom shows acute respiratory syndrome, asymptomatic infection and fatal encephalitis that is an inflammation of the brain. If a person has fever, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, neck rigidity, he needs to be taken to the doctor as soon as possible. Within just one or two days, Nipah virus can cause coma and death! It gets transmitted from person to person so all the precautions needs to be taken care of seriously.
Precautions to be taken
- Avoid contact with pigs and pig handlers
- Maintain personal hygiene
- Avoid consuming raw fruits as much as possible
- If you are eating fruits wash them before consuming and check bite marks before buying them.
- Avoid drinking toddy brewed in open containers near palm trees.
- Staying away from an infected person is important
- Clean utensils and bathroom items like mugs and buckets
- Avoid consuming pork
- Once it’s diagnosed in a person, keep him in a separate room
- Make sure to wash hands and cover mouth if you are in an infected area
- The primary carrier of this virus is fruit bats, so avoid eating half eaten fruits or the fruits that fall off the trees
For now there is no vaccine available of Nipah virus so precautions are the best cure and the people getting affected by it need special care. As per World Heatlh Organization, the virus can be avoided by staying away from sick pigs and bats in areas where the infection is endemic. The fruits that have fallen from trees and sap of raw date palms are also to be avoided.