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Nipah Virus

2023 SEP 14

Preliminary   > Science and Technology   >   Miscellaneous   >   Diseases

Why in news?

  • Cases of Nipah Virus have been found in Kerala again after two people were confirmed to have died of the viral disease in Kozhikode district, Kerala.

About Nipah virus:

  • Nipah virus (NiV) is a zoonotic virus (it is transmitted from animals to humans) and can also be transmitted through contaminated food or directly between people.
  • It is not likely to spread like Covid-19 as it is not an air borne infection.
  • It is a type of RNA virus in the genus Henipavirus.
    • The virus normally circulates among specific types of fruit bats
  • In infected people, it causes a range of illnesses from asymptomatic (subclinical) infection to acute respiratory illness and fatal encephalitis.
  • The virus can also cause severe disease in animals such as pigs, resulting in significant economic losses for farmers. 
  • Although Nipah virus has caused only a few known outbreaks in Asia, it infects a wide range of animals and causes severe disease and death in people, making it a public health concern.

Source of Nipah virus:

  • The virus was first identified in Kampung Sungai Nipah in Malaysia and in Singapore in 1998.
  • At that time, it was primarily caused in pigs and through them got transferred to the humans.
  • As quoted by the World Health Organisation, the natural hosts of the virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus.

Treatment for Nipah virus:

  • No vaccine has been developed for curing the infection in both humans and animals. The primary treatment for human cases is intensive supportive care and supportive medicines.

Add ons:

  • About 700 human cases of Nipah virus were estimated to have occurred, and 50 to 75 percent of those infected died.
  • In May 2018, an outbreak of the disease caused 17 deaths in the state of Kerala.


Which of the following statements are correct regarding Nipah virus?

1. Nipah virus is a zoonotic virus

2. It can be transmitted through contaminated food.

3. No vaccine has been developed against Nipah virus infection.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3