Express View: Checking Nipah

Source– The post is based on the article “Express View: Checking Nipah” published in “The Indian Express” on 15th September 2023.

Syllabus: GS3- Science and Technology

Relevance- Communicable diseases

News– The Nipah virus has surfaced in Kerala for the fourth time in the past five years.

What are some facts about the Nipah virus?

It may not spread as easily as influenza or Covid. But, it can quickly become deadly. In severe instances, individuals experience respiratory distress and inflammation of the brain. The mortality rate can reach as high as 75 percent.

There is currently no vaccine available to protect against this pathogen. Treatment options are primarily focused on alleviating the symptoms.

The Nipah virus was initially identified during an epidemic that affected pig farmers in Malaysia and Singapore back in 1999.

Research conducted by the ICMR)has indicated that fruit bats serve as the natural reservoir for this virus.

Human-to-human transmission can occur through close contact, either at home or in hospitals.

Each outbreak increases the potential for the virus to mutate. It raises the possibility of a more efficient transmission strain. The World Health Organization classifies Nipah as a virus of concern.

Way forward-

The World Health Organization (WHO) also recommends that countries located in Nipah hotspots should create strategies to predict, monitor, and manage outbreaks.

It is crucial to gain insights into what is happening within the virus’s animal reservoir before it crosses over to infect humans.

There is a need for collaborative efforts across different fields, involving professionals in human, animal, and environmental health.

It is essential to identify patterns of the virus’s circulation among fruit bats and document the instances when it jumps between species.

Print Friendly and PDF