What is Nipah Virus? Symptoms, Causes and Treatment | Awareness for Students


What is Nipah Virus?

Nipah virus is an endemic disease. As it has been proven by World health organization that Nipah virus (NiV) is the deadliest disease. It has also been proven that Nipah virus has 70 % mortality rate. So, awareness is very important. It will help an individual to detect at an earlier stage. The target audience, in my opinion, should be youth and teenagers because if they will get aware of this virus, they will help their family and peer groups. As this is a perilous disease. So everyone should aware of it. Nipah virus (NiV) is widely spreading across Kerala in Kozhikode district. Recently, Kerala Government has taken necessary measures to detect the virus and to aware students of colleges and schools through special camps.

Nipah Virus-what is Nipah Virus? Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Nipah virus (NiV) infection is a new pandemic and zoonotic disease which are causing severe diseases both in human beings as well as animals. The zoonotic diseases are those which is being transmitted from animals to human beings or in an easy language, it can be said that disease that normally exists in animals and is being infected to human beings.

Origin and Cases of Nipah-virus in India

It was first observed in Malaysia and Singapore in the year 1998. At that time it was caused by infected pigs to humans. Its name Nipah Virus gets its name from a village in Malaysia where the virus was first detected. World health organization has declared Nipah virus (NiV ) in the top 10 list of deadliest diseases. Gradually, it is spreading all over the world. In 2001, the first time in India Nipah Virus (NiV)   was observed in West Bengal at Siliguri district in which 66 cases were seen and 46 cases lead to fatality. Again this virus came again in West Bengal at Nadia district in 2007 and all 5 cases lead to a fatality. Nipah virus (NiV) is spreading pandemically all over the world. Many cases have been observed in some parts of Bangladesh. Now, it is widely spreading across western ghats of India ie in Kerala (mainly in Kozhikode district). Recently, we have seen an incident of a nurse of Kerala who died due to Nipah Virus (NiV).

It has been proven that Nipah virus has 70 % mortality rate. Till now,  Tremendous cases has been observed in these parts of the world ie Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, and India. Highest mortality rate due to Nipah Virus has been observed in Bangladesh among these countries.

Recently, we observed an incident of a nurse of Kerala who died due to Nipah Virus(NiV) as she was taking care of a patient suffering from it. But being Nipah virus a contagious disease she also suffered from it and both died. Till now, 16 lives in the state has been contained due to it.

Howit is caused?

  • Nipah virus is caused by Fruit bats which belong to the pteropodids family, in which Pteropus genes are the natural host of the virus.
  • It is not caused by the direct contact with the fruit bats but by its virus infection.
  • Nipah Virus (NiV) occurs when animals like pigs came into contact with fruit bats who had lost their habitat due to migration or deforestation and when human beings consume food ( like raw food eg fruits)  eaten by fruit bats. It causes Nipah Virus (NiV) in human beings.
  • It has also been observed that one should avoid eating date palm sap as it is bitten by fruit bat which could lead to Nipah Virus.


  1. Some common signs and symptoms are fever, severe headache, nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness.
  2. The symptoms took 4 to 14 days to appear.
  3. It is associated with an inflammation of the brain due to fever from many days which cause nausea, headache.
  4. If proper treatment is not given, these symptoms can also cause coma in 24-48 hrs.
  5. Some infected persons also show neurological, respiratory and pulmonary signs.

Treatment and measures

  1. There is no treatment or vaccine developed as of now.
  2. The only way to treat this virus is through intensive supportive care.
  3. Avoid direct contact with infected pigs, bats.
  4. Raise awareness among people. It has also been observed that Nipah Virus (NiV) is a contagious disease so, we should be aware of it. Hospitals should also take steps to raise awareness about symptoms.
  5. Hospitals should take the necessary precautions to treat the infected person.
  6.  If someone feels any of the symptoms then get tested immediately.

For more information on Nipah virus here are some references.