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Nipah Virus: The next pandemic for us?

Nipah Virus is a zoonotic virus that means, it can spread between people and animals. Recently on 4 September 2021, the Kerela State Health department reported an isolated case of Nipah virus disease in Kozhikode district in Kerela state.

Nipah has a high case of fatality ratio.

The harsh and devastating consequences of the coronavirus pandemic were worse by the lack of preparedness, with the exception of East and South East Asia, which had created defences after their experience with SARS in 2003. So it is essential that governments begin to establish strategies to shield us if other deadly viruses appear.

Many questions are raised after the recent outbreak of the Nipah virus. 

The rapid development of a covid vaccine against the coronavirus, SARS CoV-2 has provided a roadway out of this pandemic and also recently India registered 100 crore jabs in a fight with Covid. 

After the current pandemic, we should be prepared for other potential viruses by developing vaccines. So that when needed, the stock could be rolled out.

The First Nipah virus case was identified in 1998. 

Since there is no tried and tested treatment for the same, the fear is more. The virus currently has a case fertility rate of over 50%.

In order to check the risk, we need to look at how the virus address and replicates. Nipah virus can be prevented by avoiding exposure to sick pigs and areas where the virus is present. It is related to the human virus, one of those viruses that causes the common cold. All the cases of human infection with the Nipah virus is due to direct or indirect contact with infected bats.

All fruits and fruit juice tarnished by bat urine is the principal way of virus transmission to people.

Nipah infection leads to death by intense encephalitis in most cases as the virus replicates best in the tissues where it is easy for the virus to enter the cells. 

We need to ensure supervision, better awareness and public health measures should be adhered to. This can make a bigger impact on the control of Nipah Virus cases in the near future.

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