Nipah Virus is spreading rapidly, keep these things in mind while traveling

Nipah Virus is spreading rapidly, keep these things in mind while traveling

Nipah Virus Travel Tips: Nipah Virus has knocked in India and its patients are increasing rapidly in Kerala. This terrible disease had taken away the lives of many people all over the world. In such a situation, people have now started taking special care of their health. If you are planning to travel then it is important to keep many things in mind.

What is Nipah virus?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, Nipah virus is a deadly virus that spreads from animals to humans. This is the reason why it is also called zoonotic virus. It is spread primarily by fruit bats, also known as flying foxes. However, apart from bats, this virus can also spread through other animals like pigs, goats, horses, dogs or cats. This virus is usually spread through contact with the bodily fluids of an infected animal, such as blood, feces, urine, or saliva.

Travelers should take special care

If you are planning to travel in future. So one should avoid traveling to infected areas. If you still want to go there, then get yourself tested first. If you are traveling in or around the containment zone, then you should avoid coming in contact with any infected person. Keep washing hands regularly. Avoid coming in contact with animals. Avoid going to places where there are pigs or bats. Avoid drinking raw fruits, fruit juice, date juice etc. that have fallen on the ground.

How fast does Nipah virus spread?

If compared to Corona virus, Nipah virus is less infectious. Its infection rate is low but its mortality rate is higher than Corona and it is also more deadly. Talking about Bangladesh, Nipah virus is seen as a seasonal disease which often spreads between December and May.

What are the symptoms of Nipah virus?

Usually, symptoms start appearing within 4 to 14 days of coming in contact with this virus. Initially there are problems like fever or headache and later cough and difficulty in breathing. Initial symptoms of Nipah virus may include the following:-

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • difficulty breathing

  • cough and sore throat

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomit

  • muscle pain

  • extreme weakness

In severe cases, this virus can cause brain infection, which can prove fatal. In severe cases the following symptoms are seen-

  • Confusion

  • trouble speaking

  • seizures

  • fainting

  • respiratory problems

of Nipah virus diagnosis

Initial signs and symptoms of Nipah virus infection are nonspecific, and diagnosis is often not suspected at the time of presentation. This can hinder accurate diagnosis and create challenges in outbreak detection, effective and timely infection control measures, and outbreak response activities.

In addition, the quality, quantity, type, timing of clinical specimen collection and the time required to transfer the specimens to the laboratory can affect the accuracy of laboratory results.

Nipah virus infection can be diagnosed from the clinical history during the acute and convalescent phase of the disease. The main tests used are the detection of antibodies from bodily fluids through real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Other tests used include polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, and virus isolation by cell culture.

Nipah virus treatment

There is currently no drug or vaccine specific for Nipah virus infection, although WHO has identified Nipah as a priority disease for the WHO Research and Development Blueprint. Intensive supportive care is recommended for the treatment of severe respiratory and neurological complications.

In the absence of a vaccine, the only way to reduce or prevent infection among people is to raise awareness about risk factors and educate people about measures they can take to reduce the risk of Nipah virus.

Public health educational messages should focus on:

Reducing the risk of transmission from bats to humans.

Efforts to prevent transmission should first focus on reducing bats’ access to date palm juice and other fresh food products. Keeping bats away from sap collection sites with protective covering (such as bamboo sap skirts) may be helpful. The juice of freshly collected dates should be boiled, and the fruits should be thoroughly washed and peeled before consumption. Fruits with bat bite marks should be removed.

Reducing the risk of animal-to-human transmission.

Gloves and other protective clothing should be worn when handling sick animals or their tissues, and during the slaughtering and butchering process. As far as possible, people should avoid coming in contact with infected pigs. In endemic areas, when setting up new pig farms, the presence of fruit bats in the area should be considered and, in general, pig feeders and pig sheds should be protected from bats when possible.

Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission.

Unsafe physical contact with people infected with Nipah virus should be avoided. Hands should be washed regularly after caring for or meeting sick people.

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