What is Nipah Virus Infection?
Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus that is transmitted from animals to humans. The virus can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly through contact. It can cause many diseases and illnesses such as from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory problems and fatal encephalitis.
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Nipah (NiV) was first identified during an outbreak of disease that took place in Kampung Sungai Nipah, Malaysia in 1998. Pigs were found to be the intermediate hosts in this outbreak. But, in subsequent NiV outbreaks, there were no intermediate hosts. Currently, there is no drug or vaccine to cure it.
Nipah virus disease is mainly found in south Asia. Sporadic outbreaks have been particularly noted in Malaysia, Singapore, India, and Bangladesh since the virus was first discovered in 1999. It is not a common disease. Less than 20 cases are typically reported per year worldwide, although systematic surveillance to monitor the outcomes is lacking.
Countries with reported outbreak of at risk based on serological evidence or molecular detection in Pteropus bats are Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, PNG Taiwan, and Thailand.