The Nipah virus has once again made headlines, this time with an outbreak in the southern state of Kerala, India. First identified in 1999 in Malaysia, the Nipah virus belongs to the family of Paramyxoviridae. It is a zoonotic virus, meaning it can be transmitted from animals to humans. The natural hosts of the virus are fruit bats, specifically the Pteropus genus.
The recent outbreak in Kerala has raised concerns due to the high fatality rate associated with the Nipah virus. The symptoms of the infection include fever, headache, dizziness, and respiratory distress. In severe cases, it can lead to encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, which can be fatal.
The outbreak in Kerala is believed to have originated from a family who consumed contaminated fruit juice made from fruits that had been partially eaten by infected fruit bats. The virus can also be transmitted through direct contact with infected animals or their bodily fluids. As a precautionary measure, the affected areas have been put under strict quarantine, and health authorities are closely monitoring the situation.