Nipah virus infection
We, humans, hold high our collars when it comes to comparison against animals. We assume our superiority over other living beings. And it is true to certain extent. Decades ago, swarms of the population died because of plague and dengue. Entire villages vanished. Now, the epidemic creating organisms have been brought to their knees. Hurray! But Mother Nature, because of our constant degradation of the environment finds a new way to inflict fear in the form of new viruses and diseases. For some, medical research is yet to identify the vaccine. Now, you know what I am coming at. Yes, the Nipah virus.
Bad News Travels Fast
Agreed, technology has invented some cool mechanisms such as Whatsapp, but one aspect is of concern. Bad news travels fast. Unwanted hype and information gets transferred to and fro. And at times of outbreak of a new virus-like Nipah, it only sets the alarm bell ringing. In the wrong mode. Now, because the disease is spread by fruit flies, people in India will stop buying fruits for a while. Due to chaos and non-availability of proper information. Maybe, tonnes of fruit will be wasted and thrown in the garbage. And it will give rise to a new epidemic. Huh!
The infection is such that it can occur in humans without any symptoms. However, experts say that it can be similar to influenza-like symptoms. Some of the common signs observed are fever, sore throat, headaches, vomiting, and muscle pain.
When you read an article concerning the Nipah virus, frequently a word gets pronounced here and there. Zoonosis. And the meaning – it is the term where a disease gets transferred from animals to human beings. At present, the carriers of the virus are fruit bats. Do you need more information? Well, they are called as Pteropus genus and belong to the Pteropodidae Family.
This virus, Nipah first made its appearance in 1998 at Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia. An outbreak happened, but on this occasion, the hosts were different animals, pigs. But in the next few years, there were no problems. But the virus made a comeback in 2001 in Bangladesh in cinematic fashion. The humans got infected because they consumed date palm sap. And the juice was contaminated by the fruit bats.
Challenges To Humankind and Mind
It can cause infection even in pigs. A cause of concern, it can infect any domestic animal. The biggest worry, there exists no vaccine for humankind nor animals. The best way for treatment for Nipah virus is identification at the earliest, and for humans, intensive supportive care.
Which is the infected area, at present?
God’s own country, Kerala. At present, the State known for its Natural beauty is on a high alert. Eight persons have died due to the disease. As per experts, it is an airborne transmission infection disease and can spread from humans to humans.
It is a must to watch for the primary signs of respiratory illness. Other symptoms include fever, headache, dizziness, and nausea. Even if proper treatment is given at the relevant time, the symptoms may last for seven to ten days.
During the infection, a victim can suffer from brain inflammation. He/she can also suffer from fever for many days. In short, the patient will be in a state of dilemma and drowsiness. If not properly treated, the situation can lead to a coma within two days.
The State Government of Kerala has declared a wide alert to alert people from consuming date palm juice. At present, when this article is published, there have been no cases of Nipah Virus in Karnataka. So, let us keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.