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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 49-58

NIPAH : A recently emerging paramyxovirus

1 Professor of Medicine, MVJ MC & RH, Bengaluru, India
2 PG Students in Medicine, MVJ MC & RH, Bengaluru, India

Correspondence Address:
Vasantha Kamath
Professor of Medicine, MVJMC &RH., Bengaluru
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2666-1802.260264

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Nipah virus has emerged as an important and severe zoonosis affecting South-east Asia, Bangladesh, and India. It is an RNA virus belonging to Paramyxoviridae family. There are two major genetic lineages: NiVMalayasia (NiV-MY) and NiV Bangladesh (NiV-BD). The viruscan jump the species barrier. Fruit bats are the major reservoirs of infection. It can infect a secondary animal host and transmit infection to humans. It may also affect humans directly. Patients infected with Nipah have initial non-specific symptoms that quickly progress to severe neurological deficit, coma, and death. Outbreaks in India have occurred in 2001, 2007, and in Kerala in 2018. Worryingly, in India, human-to-human transmission has been demonstrated. Close contact with the sick patient seems to be the most well elucidated method of transmission. In our country, with the acculturated norms of family care giving, coupled with swaths of people living in overcrowded homes, and poor access and willingness to seek timely medical care, gives any rational physician a moment of pause. The containment and management of this deadly virus will rely on the concerted efforts by all endemic areas, health care workers, policy-makers, and participation from appropriately-informed public to stop it from achieving epidemic proportions.

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