Nipah Virus: Symptoms, prevention and treatment


Disease and Care

What is Nipah Virus(NIV) ?
Nipah Virus(NIV) infection is a newly emerging zoonosis(a disease that animals can transmit to humans, known as a zoonosis) that causes severe disease in both animals and Human.
People first discovered NiV in a village named Kampung Sungai Nipah in 1999 in Malaysia, the virus was named after the village.
This first recorded outbreak began in 1998-1999 and reached Singapore. A new strain occurred in 2001 in Bangladesh and India. Small outbreaks of NiV have happened in these countries since 2001. An outbreak in India (state of Kerala) occurred in May 2018. The virus is moderately contagious as it needs close contact and usually infects the family members and/or medical caregivers of NiV-infected individuals.
Fruit Bats are natural hosts of NIV

How is it transmitted ?

  • By consuming fruits eaten by infected bats and birds
  • Direct contact with infected bats and pigs
  • Through contact with NIV infected people

Precautions : What you must do to stay safe from Nipah Virus

  • Use Nose Mask which prevents inhaling of virus. NH95 grade or equivalent mask is the best.
  • Avoid contact with infected person
  • Wash hands with cleansers frequently

Signs and Symptoms :

  • Fever and headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Disorientation
  • Myalgia (muscle aches)
  • Sore throat
  • Vomiting
  • acute respiratory syndrome or atypical pneumonia.
  • Encephalitis follows and those infected may exhibit drowsiness, disorientation, mental confusion, altered consciousness, and seizures that can progress, within 24-48 hours, to coma and eventually death.


  • No specific treatment for Nipah Virus
  • According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), primary treatment is intensive supportive care.
  • There is no vaccine specifically available to protect humans. However, some researchers suggest that the antiviral drug ribavirin may be useful, but there is little or no data to support this.
  • A human monoclonal antibody that targets the G glycoprotein of NiV has shown benefit in a ferret animal model of this disease, but researchers have not studied the effects of the antibody in humans.

Source : WHO & Centers for Disease Control and Prevension, US

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