Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

According to WHO, the Nipah virus infection is a newly emerging zoonosis, that is, a disease transmitted from animals to humans. The virus belongs to a new genus termed Henipavirus (subfamily Paramyxovirinae). Nipah surfaced in Kerala in 2018 when the first patient to contract the disease (from fruit bats) was 27-year-old Mohammed Sabith, a resident of Changaroth village in Kozhikode. He was admitted to Perambra Taluk Hospital on May 3. The symptoms of Nipah are similar to that of influenza: fever, muscle pain, and respiratory problems. Inflammation of the brain can also cause disorientation. Late onset of Encephalitis can also occur. Sometimes a person can have an asymptomatic infection, and be a carrier of Nipah and not show any symptoms.

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