JUN 07, 2018 3:09 PM PDT

Nipah Virus Outbreak in India Kills 17

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

The infection caused by Nipah virus was detected recently for the first time in southern India. The infection caused by this viral pathogen is dangerous, and as of June 1, 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that there were 18 confirmed cases and 17 dead in Kerala, India from this outbreak. It looks like the situation has been contained; no new cases have been reported since June 4.

This emerging virus was first identified in Malaysia in 1998. The host of the virus is the fruit bat, and they can spread it directly to humans, or to pigs, which can then transmit the virus to people. The infection can also spread during close contact between individuals.

The Nipah virus infection causes a range of symptoms in those that are affected; some have no symptoms, but it can also cause fatal encephalitis, or brain inflammation, and serious respiratory problems. Treatment for the illness is very limited, and only the symptoms can be addressed. 

Sources: WHO, CDC

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
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