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An deadly outbreak of Nipah virus in India

Pharmacy & Pharmacology International Journal
Saurabh Nimesh,1 Jivan Kumar2


On May 19, 2018; first Nipah Virus (NiV) outbreak was reported from Kozhikode district of Kerala and Mallapuram district of South India. There is high risk of NiV outbreak to individual as well as community. NiV is classed across the world as a BSL-4 hazard. Emerging zoonotic risk grade-4: Hendra and Nipah viruses cause severe and often lethal respiratory illness (encephalitis particularly in sows, boars and human) and have public impact on human health [fever, aches, tiredness, chills & nervous signs (twitching, trembling, muscle fasciculation, spasms, muscle weak spot, convulsions and death)]. Zoonotic diseases transfer to human being from animals. NiV can infect a huge variety of species. Transmission of NiV from human being to human being has been observed. They are associated with high risk (group-4) of life-threatening disease in human and/or animals. Treatment is restrained to supportive care, because NiV encephalitis can be transmitted from one person to another person, standard infection control practices and proper barrier nursing techniques are important to prevent nosocomial transmission infections. For handling RG-4 Nipah virus, there is a requirement for a laboratory with extensive BSL-4 high level containment that includes practices (BSL-3 plus controlled access); safety equipment’s (Biological Safety Cabinet, full-body air-supplied, positive pressure and personnel suit) and facilities (BSL-3 plus dedicated air and exhaust, decontamination procedures for exit, separate building) Biological safety cabinets use HEPA filters in their exhaust and/or supply systems. A PAPR or tight-fitting goggles and N-95 respirator should be worn for high-risk aerosol-generating procedures. The therapeutic use of a neutralizing human monoclonal antibody targeting the Nipah G glycoprotein has experimentally been evaluated in the post-exposure therapy in the ferret model and found to be of benefit. Additional efforts focused on surveillance and awareness will assist save future outbreaks.


Pteropus bats, encephalitis, henipavirus, hazards, bsl-4, pigs, fatalities