Nipah virus in Kerala: All you need to know about symptoms and precautions
Nipah virus in Kerala symptoms: Nipah virus infection can occur in humans or animals. Fruit bats from the Pteropodidae Family are thought to be the natural carriers of the disease.
What causes Nipah virus infection?
Direct contact with infected pigs, other infected animals, or through contaminated fruits (half-eaten fruits left by fruit bats), and even direct contact with sick persons have been cited as the underlying cause of outbreaks according to a report in the Indian Journal of Virology.
Signs and Symptoms of Nipah virus in India
Infection with Nipah virus (NiV) can cause mild to severe disease, including swelling of the brain (encephalitis) and potentially death.
Symptoms typically appear in 4-14 days following exposure to the virus. The illness initially presents as 3-14 days of fever and headache and often includes signs of respiratory illness, such as cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing.
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Symptoms may initially include one or several of the following:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
Severe symptoms may follow, such as:
- Disorientation, drowsiness, or confusion
- Brain swelling (encephalitis)
Death may occur in 40-75% of cases. Long-term side effects in survivors of Nipah virus infection have been noted, including persistent convulsions and personality changes.
Nipah virus Precautions to be taken in India
- Take caution to ensure that food is not contaminated by bats. Take precautions to ensure bats don’t eat the food or drop feces on it. Do not eat fruits that may have been bitten by bats. Do not drink toddy that is brewed in open containers near palm trees.
- It is also important to safeguard oneself after coming in contact with someone who has contracted the virus. It is important to maintain a distance from the patient, to sanitize and wash hands thoroughly.
- Clothes, utensils, and items typically used in the toilet or bathroom, like buckets and mugs, should be cleaned separately and maintained hygienically. Hands should always be kept clean using soap or alcohol hand rubs. Hands should be washed with soap for at least twenty seconds.