Nipah Virus in India- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, and Human Resources.
Nipah Virus- Context
- Recently, after a gap of over three years, a case of the zoonotic Nipah virus infection was reported in the Kozhikode district of Kerala.
- A team from the National Centre for Disease Control reached the State to provide support. Kozhikode is reporting the deadly infection for the second time in three years.
Nipah Virus- Key Points
- Origin: Nipah Virus first appeared in Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 and 1999.
- It first appeared in domestic pigs and has been found among several species of domestic animals including dogs, cats, goats, horses, and sheep.
- About Nipah Virus:
- Zoonotic Disease: it is transmitted from animals to humans.
- Nipah Virus is caused by an RNA (Ribonucleic acid) virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Henipavirus.
- Closely related to Hendra virus: Hendra Virus is a rare emerging zoonosis that causes severe and often fatal disease in both infected horses and humans).
- Mode of Transmission: It spreads through fruit bats or ‘flying foxes,’ of the genus Pteropus (natural hosts of the virus). Infected bats shed the virus through excreta and secretions.
- Nipah Virus is generally transmitted from animals to human beings, mainly from bats and pigs.
- Human-to-human transmission and transmission through contaminated food is also possible.
- Symptoms of Nipah Virus:
- Common symptoms include- drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, fever, headache and mental issues such as confusion.
- Severe Fever for several days: leads to inflammation of the brain causing a state of confusion, disorientation and even persistent drowsiness.
- Neurological, respiratory and pulmonary signs also emerge in an infected individual.
- Treatment: No vaccine has been developed yet for curing the infection in both humans and animals.
- The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care and supportive medicines.
Nipah Virus in India
- India till now has witnessed five (including the present one) Nipah Virus outbreak with Case Fatality Rate (CFR)ranging from 65-100%.
- 2001: It was the first outbreak of the Nipah Virus in Siliguri, India
- 2007: This outbreak happened in Nadia of West Bengal.
- 2018: The 2018 outbreak of Kerela was declared over soon after it was localized in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts of Kerala.
- 2019: This outbreak again happened in Kozhikode, Kerala.
- 2021: Again, it is spreading in Kozhikode, Kerala.