From the WHO and experts from India have announced that it has been detected, again, the Nipah virus in two different species of bats in India. Thus and according to scientists from the National Institute of Virology of India (NVI), this virus has been found in the population of Maharashtra, while the country fights against variants of covid-19.
It is further claimed that the country has already suffered four outbreaks of Nipah. According to the study investigator, bats were discovered in March 2020 in a cave in Mahabaleshwar, an area where such viruses had never been found yet.
The basics of the Nipah virus
According to the WHO; Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus (transmitted mainly from animals to people, and sometimes also from person to person and through contaminated food). In infected people it has various clinical manifestations, ranging from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory infection and fatal encephalitis.
Nipah virus can also cause serious diseases in animals such as pigs. Although this virus has caused only a few known outbreaks in Asia, it infects a wide variety of animals and causes serious illness and death in people, making it a public health problem. And the WHO has been taking action on this issue for a long time.
There is no vaccine for this virus
In addition, the WHO announces that there is currently no vaccine or drugs to treat this virus, so its fatality rate is 40 to 75%. Intensive supportive treatment is recommended for severe respiratory and neurologic complications.
How is it transmitted?
The Agency establishes that, in outbreaks in Malaysia and Singapore, the majority of human infections were due to direct contact with sick pigs or their contaminated secretions.
Transmission may have occurred through respiratory droplets or contact with nasopharyngeal secretions or tissues from diseased pigs.
And in Bangladesh and India, the most likely source of infection was the consumption of fruit or fruit products (for example, date palm juice) ccontaminated with urine or saliva from infected bats.
During subsequent outbreaks in Bangladesh and India in 2001, the Nipah virus spread directly from person to person through direct contact with human secretions and excretions.
In other animals
Fruit bats of the family Pteropodidae, particularly species belonging to the genus Pteropus, are the natural hosts of the Nipah virus, in which it does not appear to cause disease.
While outbreaks of Nipah virus infection can also occur, such as we have stated, in pigs and other domestic animals (horses, goats, sheep, cats and dogs) and were first diagnosed during the initial outbreak in Malaysia in 1999.