Nipah virus outbreak: A comparative study from Southeast Asia
Nipah Virus is a recently emerging zoonotic virus with disease causing potential in both animals and humans. Nipah virus belongs to the family of paramyxovirida, genus Henipavirus along with Hendra virus. (1) The knowledge of human infection with Henipavirus was limited to a very small number of cases infected with Hendra virus in Australia during 1994-1999 which was responsible for deaths of two humans and seventeen horses. (2) Nipah virus was first identified and isolated in 1999 in Malaysia during an outbreak of febrile illness among pig farmers and people who were in close contacts with pigs. (3) In 2001, Nipah virus was identified as the causative agent of outbreak in Bangladesh. Since then number of outbreaks has been reported in various districts of Bangladesh. (4) In India, a total of three outbreaks of Nipah have been reported, latest being on 19th May 2018, from Kozhikode district of Kerala. (5) With a fatality rate of 58%, Nipah virus is primarily seen to cause encephalitis and severe respiratory distress. Despite of the severe pathogenicity and high pandemic potential there is no specific treatment for Nipah virus encephalitis except for supportive and symptomatic treatment.
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