Nipah
Representational image

Itanagar, June 12, 2019:

Social networking sites in Arunachal Pradesh are buzzing with the report that many people with strange sickness are thronging the Pasighat District Hospital, which is suspected to be the dreaded Nipah virus.

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According to Dr T Talo from Pasighat, who claimed to be infected with Nipah virus, said the outbreak of the disease can be attributed to consumption of litchi which is abundant in the state.

However, the claim of Dr T Talo is yet to be verified.

The fruit bats have litchi in their food chain and they are responsible for spreading the life taking virus. It directly affects the liver.

Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus (it is transmitted from animals to humans) and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly between people.

In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses from asymptomatic (sub-clinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis.

The virus can also cause severe disease in animals such as pigs.

Although Nipah virus has caused only a few known outbreaks in Asia, it infects a wide range of animals and causes severe disease and death in people, making it a public health concern.

Nipah virus infection in humans causes a range of clinical presentations, from asymptomatic infection (subclinical) to acute respiratory infection and fatal encephalitis.

The case fatality rate is estimated at 40% to 75%.

This rate can vary by outbreak depending on local capabilities for epidemiological surveillance and clinical management.

Nipah virus can be transmitted to humans from animals (such as bats or pigs), or contaminated foods and can also be transmitted directly from human – to – human.

Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are the natural host of Nipah virus.

There is no treatment or vaccine available for either people or animals.

The primary treatment for humans is supportive care.

Meanwhile, there is a major ‘Nipah scare’ in Kerala and one person had also been hospitalized.

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