Context: Deaths due to the Nipah virus have been reported in the Kozhikode district of Kerala.
About Nipha Virus (NiV):
- Transmission: Nipah virus is a zoonotic disease that can be transmitted to humans through direct contact with infected animals, especially bats and pigs. Nipah virus infection can be transmitted through contaminated food or directly from person to person.
- Natural Reservoir: Fruit Bats (also known as flying foxes) are believed to be the natural reservoir/primary carriers of the Nipah virus.
- Fever, muscle pain, and respiratory problems (similar to that of influenza).
- Inflammation of the brain as well as late onset of Encephalitis can also occur.
- The case fatality rate is between 65 percent and 100 percent.
- Treatment: NiV is on the top-10 priority list of pathogens identified by the World Health Organization. Currently, there are no approved vaccines available against NiV.