Nipah virus: is it so dangerous for humans?

We are still fighting and taking precautions from corona cases that have affected our life. Now, this deadly Nipah virus has come and people are getting fear of this virus.

This deadly Nipah virus was first detected in Malaysia in 1999 during an outbreak among pig farmers. since then, there have been multiple outbreaks—– all of there in the south and southeast Asia.

The last outbreak in India, which hit Kerala in 2018, killed 17-18 people who caught it.

Now, again in 2021, this deadly Nipah virus came to Kerala. Kerala is on high alert after a 12-year-old boy died of the rare virus on Sunday. The death of a 12-year-old boy in Kerala has brought focus on the threat from the Nipah virus.

Kerala faces new challenges with the deadly Nipah virus. Amid rising covid cases, requiring the state to increase the alertness of its health system in order to avert an outbreak of a separate disease.

Earlier Kerala was battling with covid-19 and its variants, now this deadly Nipah virus has knocked on the door of Kerala state. As all of us know that Kerala state continues to battle the highest number of corona cases in the country.

Nipah virus can be spread by fruit bats, pigs and through humans-to-humans contact.

The virus has an estimated fatality rate of between 40% and 70 % according to WHO. Because of the high fatality rate makes it more deadly than coronavirus. Nipah is considered less contagious than the coronavirus, but it’s a much higher mortality rate, a longer incubation period of up to 45 days and its ability to infect a much wider variety of animals. All make Nipah a dangerous and deadly virus.

Nipah is a zoonotic virus or one that is transmitted from animals to humans. This virus can be transmitted through the consumption of contaminated food or come into direct contact with animals.

How does it spread?

1) from fruits bats to animals through bites

2) from animals to other animals through fluids

3) from bats to humans( if one takes fruits bitten by bats)

4) from animals to humans through body fluids

5) from humans to humans through body fluids

When this new virus Nipah was detected by Doctors and experts, the government start isolating hundreds of people and start contact tracing who came into contact with the boy, who died in Kozhikode, Kerala.


Fever, sore throat, vomiting, convulsion and respiratory problems.

The condition later worsens and causing the inflammation of the brain cells leading to confusion, drowsiness and then possible coma and death.

About 20% of survivors experience neurological symptoms that can persist, including seizures and personality changes.


There is no proper medicine or vaccine for Nipah yet, only Intensive supportive medical care is for infected patients.


1) Don’t eat fruits bitten by birds and animals.

2) Don’t drink toddy collected from areas where bats are found in large numbers.

3) eating fruits without washing is dangerous. so if we don’t wash before eating fruits, it causes the virus to reach from animals to humans.

4) sanitize hands with the spirit-laced cleansers for 20 seconds if in close contact with a patient.

5) all health workers, kin of those affected should use N95 grade masks.

6) Lab technicians and nurses should use personal protection equipment(PPE) to stay safe.

If affected

1) seek treatment immediately

2)ensure personal hygiene

3) maintain social distance

4)do not panic

5) use masks and sanitizer

6) be in an isolation ward or in personal quarantine

Nipah in the time of covid should serve as a reminder to build up health infrastructure across the nation.

After getting the Nipah case in Kerala, the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu was also on high alert for any suspect case of the Nipah virus.

Scientists warn that as the climate warms and humans destroy more natural habitats of species like the fruit bats in Asia, opportunities for new zoonotic variants to emerge increase.

So, don’t be panic and keep in mind that we should take all proper precautions.

Dr S.k.jha


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