Nipah Virus


    Syllabus:GS2/ Health


    • Two deaths have been reported from Kozhikode district in Kerala due to Nipah infection.


    • Nipah is a zoonotic disease, which means it is transmitted to humans through infected animals or contaminated food. 
    • History: The first outbreaks of the Nipah virus among humans was reported from Malaysia (1998) and Singapore (1999). The virus takes its name from the village in Malaysia where the person in whom the virus was first isolated died of the disease.
    • Host reservoir: The animal host reservoir of the virus is the fruit bat, commonly known as flying fox. Fruit bats are known to transmit this virus to other animals like pigs, and also dogs, cats, goats, horses and sheep.
    • Symptoms: Fever, headache, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, and vomiting.In severe cases, disorientation, drowsiness, seizures, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) can occur, progressing to coma and death.
    • Transmission: It can also be transmitted directly from person to person through close contact with an infected person.Some cases of infection have also been reported among people who climb trees where bats often roost.

    How fast does the Nipah virus spread?

    • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Nipah has a relatively high case fatality ratio. The very high death rates contribute to low transmission.
    • Reproductive number (R0):It is a measure of how quickly the virus spreads in the population. The reproductive number (R0) in the previous outbreaks of Nipah virus was about 0.48. 
      • A value less than one means less than one person is being infected by an already infected person. In such a scenario, the outbreak is expected to diminish relatively quickly.

    Source: IE