Nipah Virus

Healthmug Writer
June 06, 2018
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Nipah Virus

The virus that infects the humans through an animal as a source of infection, the infection that spreads from animal to the humans is known to be Zoonosis.

NiV (Nipah Virus) the zoonotic agent is identified as the causative agent in an outbreak of human disease occurring these days in Kerala, Calicut and is said to travel to close by areas.

The virus can be transferred through infected bats, pigs or humans who have been infected.

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Nipah Virus is an airborne transmission and affects those who come in direct contact with contaminated bodies.

Bugs that primarily affect animal or bird species mutate with time and human beings become their new hosts.

Origin and History of Nipah Virus

Environmental stresses such as flooding, temperature changes, loss of habitat, change in plant and animal, loss of food sources, amount of rain etc. contribute to stress of the fruit eating bats, which in turn weakens them so that the virus inhabits more of their population. Then, when animals interact, the virus jumps to other species and spreads to larger and newer areas and populations.

NiV was initially isolated and identified in 1999 during an outbreak of encephalitis and respiratory illness among pig farmers and people with close contact with pigs in Malaysia and Singapore.

The natural host of the Nipah virus are fruit bats of the Pteropodidae Family, Pteropus genus.

There were two outbreaks of Nipah virus; West Bengal in 2001 and 2007 with 50 people killed. Similar outbreaks have taken place in Bangladesh. The outbreaks in this part of the world were likely to be related to drinking infected raw date palm sap. That said, human-to-human spread is well-known, and of the cases reported from an outbreak in Siliguri, 75% occurred among hospital staff or visitors.

The mode of transmission includes person-to-person and contact with sick animals.

Epidemic diseases in general have increased due to climate change

Signs and Symptoms after Infection with NiV (Nipah Virus)

Nipah Virus(NiV) Sign and Symptoms

The time taken by the Nipah virus to become active and dormant to reflect on the body with signs and symptoms ranges from 4 to 14 days; which can vary to 45 days as well in few patients. The early symptoms are pretty non-specific and can be confused with those with common colds/general viral infections.

  • It starts with High fever (103°F–105°F [39.4°C–49.6°C]) with or without chills is initially seen in the patients with severe occipital headache, nausea and vomiting.
  • Respiratory distress with difficulty in breathing and in severe conditions require ventilatory aid.
  • Pain in calf muscles, slurred speech, twitching of facial muscles, altered sensorium, (focal) convulsions, unconsciousness, coma, and death.
  • Encephalitis, which is an extreme level effect in Nipah Virus infection that has a high rate of death, can have long term neurological issues such as a seizure disorder or personality changes.

Diagnosis of Nipah Virus Infection:

  • Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) of the sample taken from Throat Swab or Cerebrospinal Fluid, which directly detects virus proteins.
  • Viral RNA can be isolated from the saliva of infected person
  • IgG and IgM antibody detection are possible only if the patient has survived the NiV Infection as most of the patients succumb to death even before this antibody appears in blood
  • IgG and IgM antibody detection are done in those patients who have survived and are on recovery phase and not done RT-PCR for diagnosis.

Precautions and Safety measures to be taken in Nipah Virus Infection:

Nipah Virus(NiV) Precaution
  • There is as yet no vaccine for the Nipah virus, so it is important for every individual to be vigilant and follow the measures to keep oneself free from the infection.
  • Washing hands regularly with soap and Avoiding intake of partly eaten fruits or unpasteurized fruit juices.
  • Boil freshly collected date palm juice before drinking.
  • Thoroughly wash and peel fruits before consuming and keep yourself hydrated.
  • Avoid Meat and Animal Products in the region of outbreak.
  • Maintain proper cleanliness and self-hygiene especially sanitary hygiene.
  • Wear N95 mask when at public places if you are working, staying or travelling in region of outbreak.

Role of Homeopathy in Nipah virus infection:

Homeopathy is an alternative medicine, a science that deals with patients and not only the disease. Homeopathy medicines are prescribed on the basis of symptom similarity.

The symptoms In Nipah Virus infection occur with sudden fever, respiratory complaints followed by severe brain symptoms.

As per Homeopathy we can prescribe medicines depending Upon the Genus epidemicus, the symptoms that are seen in many patients in an endemic area are studied and medicines are collectively indicated.

Few remedies are listed below which can help to relieve the symptoms in the initial stages where the person is able to combat the complaints.

Homeopathic remedies that can be used in Nipah Virus :

Aconite, Belladonna, Gelsemium, Blatta orientalis, Eucalyptus, Zincum, Ipecacuanha

Dosage that should be used in Nipah Virus infection:

4 pills of any one of the medicine depending upon the symptoms; 5 times a day for at least 1 week with a regular follow up with your homeopathy physician.

Action of Homeopathy medicines Individually and the symptoms covered by taking them:

1. Aconite napellus:
Complaints that occur within short period of time with sudden increase of temperature, change od weather, exposure to winds. Congestion, nasal complaints followed by Delirium, confusion and action on mental sphere. Congestion with mental affections/symptoms is well covered with Aconite. Aconite has several similar symptoms with that of Nipah virus infection, hence it can be used as a prophylactic in the infection.

2. Belladonna:
The action of medicine is development of active congestion, furious excitement, perverted special senses, twitching, convulsions and pain. The medicine action is indicated in complaints that are associated throbbing carotids, excited mental state, hyper aesthesia of all senses, delirium, restless sleep, convulsive movements with Jerking limbs.

3. Gelsemium:
Weakness at mental and physical plane, symptoms that are worse from change of weather, change of season, damp weather which can cause the complaints that are closely similar to Nipah virus are relieved. It is useful in patients with history of body temperature. Dullness, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Disorientation, blurring of vision tremors and trembling are the symptoms in Nipah virus infection which is relieved with help of gelsemium

4. Nyctanthes Arbortristis

5. Plumbum Metallicum or Ipecacuana is indicated in patient who shows symptoms of pain in abdomen, nausea, vomiting.

6. Aspidosperma / Quebracho / Blatta Orientalis , Arsenicum Album are indicated homoeopathic remedies in patients showing symptoms of respiratory tract involvement with breathlessness and choking sensation.

Stramonium / Baptisia / Zincum Metallicum are best suited in later stages when patient is in delerium or comatose state.

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