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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 66-73

Nipah: The deadly menace

Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Beena Philomina Jose
Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jacm.jacm_34_18

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Nipah Virus (NiV) infection is an emerging zoonosis of public health importance in the South East Asia region. The most recent outbreak occurred in Kozhikode district, Kerala in May 2018.NiV belongs to a new genus Henipavirus under the family Paramyxoviridae. Fruit bats of the family Pteropodidae are the natural hosts of Nipah Virus. Pigs are the secondary and amplifier hosts. Infection is transmitted either directly from infected bats or pigs or indirectly through contaminated food (fruits, fruit juices). Human to human transmission has also been documented. Clinical manifestations in human beings range from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory distress syndrome and fatal encephalitis. Case fatality rate has varied in different outbreaks from 40 –75%.In the recent Kerala outbreak a high case fatality of 91%was documented. Nipah virus is one of the most deadly viruses known to infect humans. Diagnosis is mainly by RT-PCR. There is no specific treatment or preventive vaccine for Nipah. Stringent infection control measures including standard precautions, contact and droplet precautions in health care facilities help in containing nosocomial outbreaks.

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