What exactly is NiV and how does it affect humans? NiV is an air-borne virus that is primarily found in infected pigs and bats and WHO identifies it as primarily being carried by fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family. It inflames the brain and causes severe headaches and fever in humans and there is no vaccine for the virus as of now. The affected person might experience disorientation and persistent drowsiness, along with neurological, respiratory and pulmonary issues. The affected person can even go into coma in 24-48 hours if the condition is severe. He or she has to be treated through intensive support care.
As the virus is new, detection is also an issue. If symptoms persist for a day, tests for NiV must be done without losing time but from properly recognized facility as most ordinary centres do not have the expertise to detect NiV. Since the virus can affect through contamination, it is advisable not to come in contact with affected persons. In Kerala, more than 94 have been quarantined in their homes and nine are under surveillance in hospitals. The government is actively taking all steps to prevent an outbreak and has asked people not to panic.
pic courtesy: Uvayu