Nipah Virus: If it attacks, it cannot be cured

Nipah Virus: If it attacks, it cannot be cured

Nipah Virus, which had been first detected in the year 1998, hasn’t stopped yet. It has terrified the whole world already. It has acquired all regions starting from Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia to Delhi in India. People should not be scared of it, but they need to be careful.

What is ‘Nipah Virus’?

  • ‘Nipah Virus’ is a kind of veterinary disease, and it is also called the NIV Virus in the medical term.
  • This virus is a member of the Paramyxoviridae family, which spreads from animal to fruits, and from fruits to humans.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Nipah Virus (NiV) is a fast emerging virus.

The first case detected in Kampung, Malaysia 

The first case of NIV was detected in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia in the year 1998, from where the virus got its name. At that time, the carriers of this disease were pigs, and recently, the carriers of this disease are bats. Since then, the same cases have been seen in South Asia (India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Singapore). In India, the first case of ‘Nipah Virus’ was recorded in Siliguri in West Bengal in January and February 2001.

During this time, 66 people were infected with Nipah Virus. Forty-five people died due to not getting the proper treatment. At the same time, the second attack of ‘Nipah Virus’ was recorded in Nadiya in West Bengal in 2007, five cases were registered at that time, and all of them died. Recently, this virus got detected in the year 2019 as well, and its effects are unstoppable and almost impossible to control.

Fruit Bat 

After some time, this virus’s infection was seen in those people who tasted the liquid that comes out of date-tree or ate dates fallen from the tree. It was said that these dates were infected due to bats, and for this reason, they were called ‘fruit bat’ as the bats were the carriers of this virus.

Symptoms of NIV Virus

The person who comes under the influence of ‘Nipah Virus’ witnesses high fever, burning sensation in the head, swelling and pain in the brain, mental confusion, and difficulty in breathing. When infection increases, the possibility for the patient to go into coma increases, and after that, the person dies. This virus spreads rapidly through encephalitis syndrome. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ‘Nipah Virus’ is associated with Kaincephalitis, which damages the brain. That’s why it is called malignant encephalitis or brain fever.

No vaccine can cure or prevent this virus

After coming into the influence of this disease, many patients need to be taken to ICU or being kept on a ventilator during their treatment. After 5 to 14 days of getting infected, this virus can cause high fever and headache. These symptoms can make the patient go into a coma within 24-48 hours. During the initial phase of infection, people find it difficult to breathe, while half of the patients may face neurological issues.

Diagnosis of the infection

The diagnosis of this virus’s infection should be made with the help of RT-PCR by testing the cerebrospinal fluid associated with throat-nose, and by urine and blood tests. The antibody of this virus can be detected by ELISA (IgG and IgM). ‘Nipah virus’ can spread from an infected person to another person. Barrier nursing technology needs to be implemented for controlling these human to human infections.


The treatment or cure for ‘Nipah Virus’ isn’t found yet. Treatment of people suffering from this disease is only prevention. To avoid this virus, avoid eating fruits, especially dates. Fruits should not be eaten directly from trees. Whenever you bring fruits from the market, they should be washed properly using warm water.

Keep distant from the infected patient 

One should keep a distance from the infected patient. If you have to meet the patient, then wash your hands well with soap afterward. Especially, keep the items used in toilets such as buckets and mugs very clean. It is important to cover the face while carrying the dead body of any person who has died because of ‘Nipah Virus.’ Keep your pets away from infected animals, infected areas, or infected people. If you experience any fever or have trouble breathing, then immediately go to the doctor.

Avni Porwal